World Bank loans grants to Nigeria hit N696.92bn


The total commitment of the World Bank to Nigeria in loans and grants has hit $4.5bn (N696.92bn), the Country Director of the bank, Ms. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has said.

Marie-Nelly said this at the inauguration of the Polychlorinated Biphenyl Management Project in Abuja on Monday.

The World Bank country director, who was represented at the event by an official of the bank, Mr. Bandrul Haque, also said the PCB project would gulp a total of N2.87bn with counterpart funds from both the Federal Government and the Global Environmental Fund.

She said, “The bank has a diverse portfolio in Nigeria of over $4.5bn in loans and grants, including long-standing and broad involvement in the power sector that will allow for synergies to be developed.

“The ongoing $300m Nigeria Energy and Gas Improvement project will benefit from the design of the PCB project to help properly manage transformers and capacitors, particularly in the decommissioning and replacement of PCB-contaminated equipment and the disposal of PCB waste.”

“The PCB project draws on the bank’s world-wide experience in projects conducted in a variety of sectors in which environmental health concerns have been steadily mainstreamed, including mining, industry, energy, solid waste management, agriculture, health care and transport,” the country director added.

Marie-Nelly said the bank’s focus was to address development of programmes to phase out the production and use of toxic chemicals, identification of alternative technologies, and encourage the safe disposal of existing toxic stockpiles.

The PCB project is for implementation over a four-year period to December 2015. While the GEF has provided $6.3m, the Federal Government will provide an additional $12.2m to eliminate environmental and health risks posed by PCBs.

According to the World Bank boss, environmental and health risks come from the release of PCBs from active and decommissioned electrical equipment in Power Holding Company of Nigeria facilities as well as from other industries that have PCB stocks such as oil refineries, airports and textile mills.

Through timely implementation of the PCB project, environmental and health risks in Nigeria could be reduced substantially by safe disposal of the existing stockpiles and development of a management system for safe disposal of future toxic wastes, she said.

Marie-Nelly added that the project was targeted to safely dispose 3,000 tonnes of PCB oils and 5,000 tonnes of PCB contaminated equipment.

Punch


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