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World Bank okays $2.185b to fight poverty, corruption in Nigeria

THE World Bank has approved $2.185 billion to support six projects that it says would boost the country’s development.

According to a statement, the bank said the projects would include improving immunisation, enabling a stronger business environment for the private sector, expanding the digital economy to promote job creation, and increasing public and private sector capacity on governance and social and environmental safeguards.

The global bank also approved Nigeria’s digital identity ecosystem project along with five others, aimed at assisting the country to empower citizens, especially marginalised groups, to access welfare-enhancing services. The national digital identity ecosystem project is focused on enhancing the national Identity system’s legal and technical safeguards to protect personal data and privacy.

A statement by the bank explained that the project “will support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to increase the number of persons who have a national identification number (NIN) reaching about 150 million in the next couple of years.

“This will enable people in Nigeria, especially marginalised groups, to access welfare-enhancing services. The project will also enhance the ID system’s legal and technical safeguards to protect personal data and privacy.

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“This is financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $115 million and co-financing of $100 million from the French Agency for Development and $215 million from the European Investment Bank.”

Its President, David Malpass, said the country is critical to the bank’s poverty eradication programme.

”Nigeria is central to the World Bank Group’s mission of tackling extreme poverty. The World Bank is carefully targeting its support on high impact projects as the country works to tackle corruption and lift 100 million of its people out of poverty,” he said.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country director for Nigeria, said the projects will deliver better services to Nigerians in the area of health, infrastructure, among others.

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