In Nigeria, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group, is providing $50 million in local currency for sustainable transportation in the growing state of Lagos. The funding will help reduce pollution and travel time for people through the development of a sustainable urban transport system.
With its 20 million inhabitants, equivalent to the population of a country like Mali, Lagos State in south-western Nigeria has 222 vehicles for every kilometre of road, which causes pollution and slow travel, according to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). Against this backdrop, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of $50 million (about 21 billion naira) in local currency to the local government to expand access to urban transport.
“We are delighted to partner with IFC on the two bus corridors to help provide safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation in Lagos, reducing travel times and noise along the corridors. We remain focused on creating opportunities for increased economic activities in the state that encourage businesses to grow and improve their livelihoods,” said Rabiu Olowo, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance.
The project, which will benefit about 150,000 passengers a day, is aimed at rehabilitating two transport lines in the densely populated areas of Ile Iwe-Ile Epo and Abule Egba-Command. For Kalim M. Shah, IFC’s Country Director in Nigeria, the project will both enhance economic growth and combat environmental pollution in this West African city.
In Nigeria, the International Finance Corporation is focusing on improving transportation, developing the country’s growing digital economy, supporting entrepreneurship and providing access to finance for start-ups and women entrepreneurs. In 2021, the financial institution, which is present in more than 100 developing countries, has invested $31.5 billion in private companies as part of the post-Covid-19 recovery.