The World Bank Group has provided an additional seven million dollars for the Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project in 10 states.
This was contained in a statement by the federal ministry of women affairs after some bank officials paid a visit to the minister in Abuja.
Aisha Garba, a senior education officer with World Bank, said $5 million was the initial project sum for the programme, which has now been upscaled to $12 million to cover more states.
“Disbursements of the $7 million and the initial fund of five million began on July 28, 2020, when the Project was approved until July 31, 2025,” Ms Garba disclosed. “The AGILE funding disbursement has been to creating safe and accessible learning spaces, fostering an enabling environment for girls, and Project management and system strengthening with substantially encouraging results from its application.”
The AGILE task leader also said the additional fund was predicated upon the government’s demand, commitment and alignment with the World Bank agenda.
She added that it was also the persistence of challenges in educating adolescent girls and the need to scale impact, expand the target group, and increase the national percentage of girls in school.
Ms Garba further explained that the additional fund would target married girls since the initial one targets girls in school with multiple interventions to empower them and prevent their dropout.
Women affairs minister Pauline Tallen, while declaring her commitment to girl-child education, said the fund would aid in improving enrollment and completion of school for girls in the country.
Ms Tallen, however, raised concern that the funds for the AGILE project should be domiciled in her ministry instead of the federal ministry of education.
“Tallen, however, sees something amiss with the situation where (the) budgeted fund for girl-child education is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Education. Whereas it is the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs that carries out the advocacy to drive not just enrolment but completion of education to senior secondary school Class 3 (SS3) by every adolescent girl-child,” the statement disclosed.
It added, “This is the underlying reason why she has been advocating for a separate budget line for girl-child education in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs budget: education of the girl-child is our top priority, we advocate strongly for it because as we see it, you educate a woman you have empowered the woman.”
The minister reiterated her commitment to second chance education meant for girls that stopped education due to pregnancy, marriage, or other reasons.