World Bank Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $500m credit from the International Development Association for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted areas.

The bank said this in a statement titled ‘Nigeria to boost support for keeping adolescent girls in school’.

It stated that adolescent girls face many constraints in accessing and completing their secondary school education.

In northern Nigeria, it added that the lack of secondary schools was significantly greater with up to 10 primary schools for every secondary school.

It stated, “Poor condition of infrastructure and a lack of water sanitation and hygiene facilities makes it difficult for girls to stay in school.

“In addition, close to 80 per cent of poor households are in the North, which makes it very challenging for them to cover the direct and indirect costs of schooling.

“All these factors have contributed towards limiting the number of girls that have access to secondary school.

“If nothing is done, 1.3 million girls out of the 1.85 million who began primary school in 2017/2018 in the northern states will drop out before reaching the last year of junior secondary school.”

World Bank stated the project would support access to secondary school education and empowerment for adolescent girls in seven states including: Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti.

The project would benefit about 6.7 million adolescents and 15.5 million direct project beneficiaries would include families and communities in participating states.