Written by Sarah NEGEDU

World Bank unveils new lending structure for Nigeria, others

Nigeria is in talks with the World Bank Group on ways to manage certain environmental and social risks in investment projects proposed for World Bank financing support beginning from October this year.

The Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria, World Bank, Mrs. Olufunke Olufon, said consultation with senior officials of the Nigerian government and other stakeholders opened in Abuja in a workshop, where participants were briefed on the new environmental and social framework, ESF, that would guide the bank’s investment in the country beginning from October.

She said the workshop was set to provide a comprehensive understanding of the new environmental and social requirements the World Bank will be applying to new investment projects it finances, starting October 2018.

Olufon in a statement said the new framework provided a broad coverage of environmental and social issues, including important advances on transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation and accountability.

The statement quoted the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, as saying, “Time and again, we have seen that investment projects are more sustainable and have a greater development impact when the environment is protected and communities and people are engaged.

“The ESF is a great opportunity to work together with the Nigerian government to strengthen its environmental and social systems, and help build the country’s capacity to implement programmes in a sustainable way and to achieve stronger results.”

According to the World Bank’s spokesperson, the ESF is the result of extensive consultations conducted by the World Bank, with nearly four years of analyses and engagement around the world with governments, development practitioners and civil society groups, reaching nearly 8,000 stakeholders in 63 countries.

The ESF also placed more emphasis on strengthening borrower governments’ own capacities to deal with environmental and social issues, Olufon added.

She said the environmental and social framework aims to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from the potential adverse impact of the projects it finances.


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