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World Bank approves $750m loan to boost businesses in Nigeria



2019: World Bank predicts 2.2% GDP growth for Nigeria

The World Bank has approved a $750 million support facility for the Nigeria State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Programme-for-Results.

The Washington-based organization disclosed this in a statement titled:  “Improving the Business Enabling Environment in Nigeria to Create Jobs and Boost Inclusive Growth” on Friday.

The loan was in the form of an International Development Association (IDA) credit to support SABER.

The program is consistent with Nigeria’s National Development Plan (NDP) which establishes an ambitious strategy for sustainable private-sector-led economic growth targeted at creating 21 million jobs and raising 35 million people out of poverty by 2025.

The World Bank’s approval of the credit facility came on the same day the Federal Government declared that it was considering further fiscal policy actions in support of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

The statement read: “The World Bank today approved the Nigeria State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Program-for-Results. The $750 million International Development Association (IDA) credit will help Nigeria accelerate the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business enabling environment in states.”

Read also:World Bank offers support to end fuel subsidy in Nigeria

According to the bank, Nigeria has made headway in pushing changes to remove barriers in the business climate, particularly through efforts spearheaded by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

However, the bank warned that, in comparison to its peers, Nigeria’s ability to attract local and foreign investment remains limited.

It added: “Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are capable of catalyzing private investment, although their efforts and capacity to do so differ greatly.

“Given the importance of state-level reforms, the government developed a new program—SABER—to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that improve the business-enabling environment in Nigeria’s states.

“The government’s SABER program builds on the successes of PEBEC. It aims to strengthen the existing PEBEC-National Economic Council subnational interventions by adding incentives, namely results-based financing to the states, and the delivery of wholesale technical assistance–available to all states–to support gaps in reform implementation.”

By Promise Eze

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