World-BankThe World Bank has approved $140 million additional support for community development in Nigeria.

Twenty six out of 36 states of the federation are to benefit from the project which will focus on the most vulnerable households in the country.

A statement by the Bank says the additional financing is expected to fund micro-project such as rehabilitation and construction of school class rooms, skills acquisition, environment, health, rural electrification, transport, water and rural market infrastructure amongst others.

Vulnerable groups that will benefit from the grants are internally displaced poor persons, marginalised or chronically poor households, widows and the physically challenged.

“This project will not only help vulnerable people including those in conflict-affected areas in the short term, but will also help build long-lasting partnership between local governments and communities.

“In addition, it will help integrate communities as well as make smart investments in people for the future,” the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, Foluso Okunmadewa, said.

The first phase of the Community Social Development Project (CSDP) which benefited over 5,600 communities and about two million people in 26 states of the federation is to close in December 2014

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said that a recent assessment of the Project showed that school enrolment, immunisation, and access to electricity and safe water had all increased in communities that benefited from CSDP.

“In this new phase, the project will focus mainly on the most vulnerable people, in line with the World Bank’s mission to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity,” Marie-Nelly said.  

The new phase of the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) will end on December 31, 2017.

The grant is coming days after Nigeria was added to World Bank’s list of extremely poor nations of the world, a development that the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, insisted should not worry Nigerians.