WASHINGTON, April 29, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$75 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for an Edo State Fiscal Improvement and Service Delivery Development Policy Operation.
The approved credit will be in the form of budget support to finance policy and institutional reforms that Edo State has undertaken to improve its public financial management, increase private investment in land, and significantly improve the quality of the State’s education system.
“We would like to encourage the Government of Edo to sustain the gains achieved to date by further improving governance and service delivery in Edo State,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “We expect that this budget support to Edo, like that granted to Lagos state earlier, will have a positive demonstration effect on other states in Nigeria by inspiring them to take on important reforms to build strong systems and institutions that will endure over successive governments,” she added.
This is the first in a new series of yearly development policy financing operations that support Edo state’s medium term strategic plan focused on bolstering growth, creating jobs, and reducing poverty.
Edo State is strengthening its financial management information system for budget management, strengthening the alignment of the state’s annual budgets to the strategic priorities of the government as well and improving financial accountability through timely audits and the publication of the state government’s audited financial accounts. The programme will also ensure professionalization of the state’s procurement function to improve the management of public procurement in the state.
Reforms to increase private sector access to land for investment will focus on establishing a new regime of more competitive land transaction charges to encourage investments in the state which will, in turn, boost growth and employment creation.
In the area of education, one key reform undertaken by Edo state is the strengthening of governance at the basic education level through the involvement of the established School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) in the monitoring of teacher and pupil attendance at schools.
Edo State Government, which has been working on improving the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to meet the demands and needs of the employment market, is also protecting funding for such institutions. The Government is expected to establish partnership arrangements between these institutions and the private sector to improve the relevance of TVET education in the state and ultimately the employability of the state’s youth population.
“Development Policy Financing is an instrument which the Bank uses to support client governments to reduce poverty sustainably through a program of policy and institutional reforms. The Edo State Government has shown strong commitment to a credible program of reforms and we look forward to seeing sustenance and further deepening of these reforms” said Gloria Joseph-Raji, Task Team Leader for the Operation.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.