Nigeria: Bank Group Supports Skills Training and Vocational Education Programme

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Ouagadougou, 17 May 2006 – The African Development Fund (ADF) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today in Ouagadagou signed a loan agreement of 30 million Units of Account, (equivalent to US$ 44.2 million) to finance a Skills Training and Vocational Education Project in Nigeria.

The agreement was signed by Mrs. Zeinab El-Bakri, ADB Vice President of Operations, and Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Federal Minister Finance of Nigeria.

The project, the first Bank Group operation in this sector in Nigeria, will contribute to poverty reduction through human resource development. The project will to improve access to quality Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) in formal and non-formal training institutions in Nigeria. Attainment of this objective will contribute to the enhancement of employment-oriented skills training for Nigerian youth and women to access employment and income generating opportunities.

The project has four components namely: Improved access to skills training and vocational education, enhanced quality and efficiency of skills training and vocational education, strengthening public-private partnership, and project management.

The activities will cover all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Of the 19 Federal Science and Technical Colleges in Nigeria, five will benefit from the project activities. The colleges are Ikare-Akoko (Ondo State), Lassa (Borno State), Ohanso (Abia State), Orozo (Abuja, FCT), and Uyo (Akwa Ibom State). The project will also cover 2 teacher- training institutions.

The project will improve access to training for disadvantaged and underemployed young women and men, including basic education cycle school leavers. It will contribute to increasing female participation rates in VTE from its current 19% to 30%. The VTE centres will provide skills and expertise that should facilitate the integration of young Nigerian women and men into the mainstream of the economy. They will also provide them with skills in entrepreneurship and guide them in starting their own businesses.

The beneficiaries will include students (boys and girls) in technical and vocational education; teachers/instructors, the five Federal Science and Technical Colleges; two teacher training institutions; pre-service teacher training students.

Better-trained skilled trainers will provide skilled workers and craftsmen and women for industry and the private sector. At the same time, income generating mechanisms will be provided and incomes of vulnerable groups especially women, will be enhanced and will have beneficial effects on health and quality of life. The number of school dropouts will be reduced and their potential harnessed through skills training centres.

A rationalized and integrated national system will be reflected in improved quality and relevance of training and the qualitative expansion of the skilled worker pool. The private sector will thus have a wider choice of qualified workers with consequent gain in productivity.

The Bank Group’s operations in Nigeria started in 1971. To date, the Group has committed a total of 421,682 billion Niara (equivalent to US $ 2.3 billion) on 42 operations in the country.

Project Information Sheet

-  Sources of financing: ADF & Government

-  Estimated start-up date and duration: January 2006 for 5 years.

-  Executing Agency: Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, Nigeria

-  Procurement of Goods and Services: Goods, works and services will be procured in accordance with ADF Rules of Procedure

1UA = US $ 1.47106=183.348 Naira  as at 17/05/06