World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, has disclosed that the World Bank was set to inject the sum of $700 million for adolescent girls education in 19 states of the country.
According to him, the World Bank was committed in supporting Nigeria in empowering adolescent girls and youths, adding that it would help the nation in achieving its demographic transition.
“It’s all about keeping adolescent girls in school. It’s about the primary health care, ensuring that maternal, child and reproductive health services are provided. All of these will require support from the government.”
He said, “Nigeria has the lowest level of public spending in the world. 11, 12 percent of GDP, that’s not enough to sustain the basic services that every state needs to provide for its people. Basic law and order, primary health care, investing in its people and providing basic infrastructure.
“The National Assembly can play such an important role to ensure accountability. To ensure that every funds or resources that gets past them to the states, are used directly to translate into services for ordinary Nigerians.
On his part, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that fast-tracking Nigeria’s demographic transition in providing jobs for youths, primary health care services and keeping adolescent girls in school, was a matter of urgency.
In his welcome remarks, Chairman, National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, said harnessing demographic dividend in Nigeria would not be automatic but would require each nation to meet certain conditions that starts with achieving “a rapid and speedy fertility decline, holistically to permit sufficient demographic transition for economic transformation to occur.”
He said, “Achieving this feat will facilitate the emergence of a population age-structure that host fewer dependents’ (for Nigeria of the young), but with a large cohort of productive/working age population that will breed prosperity.
“This achievement, can happen, only if Nigeria makes the right choices now in adopting targeted sound social policies and interventions in key sectors (education, health, women empowerment, job creation/productive and decent employment), guided by good governance that is built on strong and responsive institutional structure.”
AUTHOR: Fortune Eromosele
DATE PUBLISHED: June 22
PHOTOCREDIT: the letter man