The World Bank said it has approved, through the International Development Association (IDA), a credit of $42.3 million to the Lagos State government for its EKO Secondary School Project.
This, our correspondent learnt, is an addition to the original credit of $95 million, which over 620,000 students in 667 public secondary schools in Lagos State benefited from for the period of 2009-2013.
The World Bank, in a statement signed by the Director, Finance and Administration, Debt Management Office, Immaculatus da-Silva, and obtained by our correspondent, explained that the Lagos EKO Project had achieved significant results both in terms of the quality of education received as well as the pass rates in examination in the schools.
The global bank noted that the effect had seen student scores from benefitting schools going up from 30% to 70% in English, 31% to 45% in Mathematics and from 27% to 65% in Basic Sciences.
It remarked that the results of the June 2013 West Africa School Certificate external examinations showed that 41% of students from benefittting schools passed five credits and above, as compared to just over 18% before the Lagos EKO Project was implemented.
The bank added that the project had built a critical pathway for students from low-income backgrounds to gain access to good-quality secondary education.
The World Bank board had before now approved a $200 million budget support facility for Lagos State.
This facility, being the second in the series of a three tranche Development Policy Operation (DPO), is in support of reforms pertaining to fiscal sustainability, budget planning, budget execution and the improvement in the state’s investment climate.
Speaking on the significance of the two loan facilities’ approval by the World Bank, the Commissioner for Finance of Lagos State, Ayo Gbeleyi said it is acknowledgement of the stellar performance of the Babatunde Raji Fashola’s administration in the state.
He added that its purposeful leadership has continued to bolster the living standards and socio-economic well-being of the ordinary Lagosians as well as strengthen the investment climate in the state.
The Commissioner added that the state’s fiscal prudence and sustainable public financial management strategy in the face of dwindling federal allocations to the state has endeared the administration to international communities. (Leadership)