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Business News of Friday, 5 August 2022

Source: www.legit.ng

Nigeria gets $8.5bn from World Bank for education, as bank slams N6.7trn subsidy

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

The World Bank has slammed Nigeria over its continued subsidy regime which it says gulps about N6.7 trillion.

According to the Washington-based lender, petrol subsidy is taking a large chunk of the country's resources which would have been channeled to other critical areas.

World Bank chides Nigeria on petrol subsidy

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank’s Country Director to Nigeria stated this on Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Abuja while announcing that the bank will give Nigeria about $8.5 billion to fund critical sectors ranging from agriculture to education.

According to Punch, Chaudhuri noted that the amount is little compared to the needs facing the country, saying that about $2.5 billion to $3 billion of the fund had been earmarked for education.

The World Bank Chief stated that half of Nigeria’s population is less than 17 years old, meaning there is a need to invest in human capital development.

Chaudhuri said that Nigeria’s future relies on the capacity of the young people to go to school, stating that it is crucial to provide a safe school to ensure that fewer children are out of school.

The Nation quoted the Country Director as saying that it depends on Nigeria to determine how it would mobilise financial resources to allow young Nigerians to go to school or whether to channel scarce resources to subsidise petrol with over N6.7 trillion

Nigeria is currently subsidising petrol to the tune of N6.7 trillion at the cost of education and health. It is estimated that over 10 million children are out of school in the country, although some figures say it's over 18 million.

Experts fault Nigeria's education budget

Janet Ijeh, a banker and economist told Legit that education remains the pillar of the development of any country, pointing out that Nigeria’s budgetary allocation to the sector is low compared to the UNESCO-approved budget of 15 to 20 percent.

She said:

“Unless there is a conscious effort by Nigeria to properly fund education and healthcare, the country will still struggle to develop its human capital.

“Human capital development is not welfarist, which the Nigerian government thinks it is. You are feeding poor people, but you are leaving them largely uneducated and uncatered in terms of health. These same people will come back to beg you for the same crumbs you threw at them. But when you educate them, you’ve given them lifelong empowerment.”