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IFC Invests in Funtaj International School to Expand Access to Education in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria , December 1, 2011 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $5 million in Funtaj International School Ltd to expand access to high quality private education to hundreds of students in Nigeria.  
Funtaj operates two schools in Nigeria that serve over 1000 students between the ages of three and 18.  Both schools offer students a comprehensive curriculum of subjects, and allow boarding options.  IFC’s loan will allow Funtaj to add another school for up to 720 students, responding to growing demand for private education in Nigeria’s middle income segment.  
Engineer Taju Ibrahim, founder and Chairman of Funtaj, said, “IFC’s financing has not just provided us with long-term capital, but its international experience and global leadership makes it the most ideal partner for Funtaj. Our long-term objective is to expand access to learning in Nigeria by creating a large network of schools to keep up with changing educational and teaching requirements.”
Public schools in Nigeria face severe challenges due to demands from a growing population and limitations in public funding. Governments and consumers are increasingly relying on the private sector to ease the burden on an overstretched public schooling system.  Private schools such as Funtaj provide higher quality education, better student-teacher ratios, and boarding options increase access to education for students from underserved areas.  
Rachel Robbins, IFC Vice President and General Council, said, “Education is critical to promoting growth and social mobility and we are committed to helping our clients provide quality services, especially in areas that lack access. By investing in Funtaj, IFC is supporting indigenous private sector education, and will help meet the needs of Nigeria’s middle class consumers.”
The new Funtaj School is estimated to cost $10 million, which will be financed by $2 million shareholder’s equity, the IFC loan of $5 million, and parallel loans from local banks of up to $3 million.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit .
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