News Column

Lagos Accounts for U.S. $90 Million World Bank Education Loan

June 24, 2014

Gboyega Akinsanmi The Lagos State Government yesterday gave an account of how it spent the $90 million (N13.5 billion) credit facility it obtained from the World Bank in 2009 for intervention in primary and secondary education.

The state government finally gave the account more than six months after the Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) invoked the Freedom of Information Act to request for the details of how the credit facility was spent.

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) provided the information at the presentation of a book, "Eko Project: A Legacy of Excellence in Lagos," noting that his administration had nothing to hide.

Accounting for the credit facility yesterday, the Special Adviser on Eko Project, Ms. Ronke Azeez, said the $90 million loan provided direct funding to schools between 2009 and 2013.

The special adviser explained that N2.4 billion of the loan was spent on the training of 16,445 teachers and 7,998 principals during the programme period.

Azeez said N2.1 billion was spent on students tracking and assessment over the period while N480million was spent on teachers mentoring programme and allowances of volunteer teachers.

The special adviser said an average of N10million was released to each of 667 schools during the period while N40million was released to each of 104 federal unity schools under the Step-B project.

Azeez said the state government "procured 839 projectors, 753 internet modems, 3,441 software as well as 656 generators for schools during the period. To improve reading culture during the period, the government created 525 libraries, 305,000 textbooks, 423 students work book and about 10,899 reference materials."

She said the state government spent some of the funds on 7,786 white boards, 20,592 mathematical set 4668 teaching modules, and procurement of 52, 532 furniture.

She added that the World Bank had given the state a pass mark on the funds utilisation and rated the Eko project as highly satisfactory, noting that the book that was launched was a documentation of all the activities of the project during the period and the different projects executed.

Also speaking at the book presentation, the governor said the state government had nothing to hide on how it spent the $90million (N13.5billion) World Bank Education Loan granted the state in 2009.

He said the concerns raised in some quarters that the money had not been spent in an open manner was unfounded and untrue, pointing out that the funds had been deployed judiciously.

He said the loan was obtained to fund teaching and learning infrastructure under the state Eko Secondary Education Project to achieve its purpose as it had significantly improved on students' performance.

But Fashola said some people "have made unsubstantiated allegations against us that we have stolen World Bank money. But in this government our collateral is our collective integrity. We have nothing to hide. That is why when we mark our every 100 days in office. We give account to the people because we have nothing to hide.

"The results of our N13.5billion World Bank Education loan are in the open for everybody to see. Those who are managing the funds are providing the details of how they are spending the loan."

So, there is nothing really to hide .The money is not in our hands, it is in the hands of the schools and the funds is been used judiciously."

Fashola said explained the World Bank intervention was to improve teaching and learning infrastructure in schools with a view to raise education standards. He said the deployment of the funds had helped improved students performance in public examinations as performance had improved from seven per cent in 2009 to 41 per cent in 2013.

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Source: AllAfrica

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