The Lagos State government recently received a $200 million credit facility from the World Bank. The credit facility is meant to support ongoing reforms on fiscal sustainability and enable the state to sustain economic growth, poverty reduction index and delivery of social services to the city’s expanding population.
A statement by Senior Communications Specialist, World Bank, Nigeria, Obadiah Tohomdet, said the fund from the International Development Association, IDA, which supports the Third Lagos State Development Policy Operation, is the last of a series of two development policy operations to improve public finances and the investment climate in a fiscally sustainable manner.
Lagos State government was said to have, in the past decade, achieved significant economic growth, improved its infrastructure and services, significantly reduced crime, and brought millions of people out of poverty.
World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project, Jariya Hoffman, said the operation is focused on furthering improvements in the transparency of the budget system, effectiveness of public expenditures, and the business climate will help sustain the pace of economic growth and thus the state’s positive momentum towards income equality and the delivery of public services.
“With enhanced budget transparency and efficiency, adequate funding can be shifted to programmes to benefit the state’s booming population, especially the poorest families,” he said.
Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria said that the credit facility was designed to assist Lagos State’s quest to continue its recent success in spite the challenges brought on by rapid economic and population growth. “As an urban agglomeration that has reduced income inequality during double digit economic growth, Lagos is an example of inclusive growth in Nigeria. If the Lagos experience is sustained, there is strong potential for this type of inclusive growth to spread to other parts of Nigeria.”
By Dike Onwuamaeze