By Joseph INOKOTONG
The Federal Government has urged the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to support Nigeria’s implementation of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the delivery of signature infrastructure to meet the development aspirations of Nigerians.
The call was made by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, who represented the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun at the 42nd annual meeting of the Bank.
He made a presentation as Nigeria’s Governor on the Board of the Bank during its key business session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We want IsDB to be more visible and deliver signature infrastructure projects in Nigeria. We appreciate their intervention in the water supply, health and education sectors in a number of our States, but we want IsDB to do more,” he emphasised.
He continued: “Also, given IsDB’s unique role as Islamic Bank with multiplicity of intervention instruments not available to traditional development banks, we expect IDB to be bold and work collaboratively with other MDBs to ensure overall complementarity in all development interventions in Nigeria.”
He expressed Nigeria’s appreciation to IsDB for consistently supporting Nigeria’s economic and development aspirations, and for upgrading the Nigerian office to a regional hub, which will be responsible for other countries in West and Central Africa.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated Nigeria’s call on IsDB, to increase its financial and technical assistance to Nigeria to fast track the achievement of her numerous economic, developmental and inclusive growth goals.
A statement signed by signed Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, Director (Information) said Dr. Isa-Dutse noted that Nigeria has derived many benefits from its membership of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), which has financed many development projects in various States of the federation.
He cited the US$65 million Ilesha Water Supply and Sanitation project in Osun State, a US$43 million 300-bed hospital project in Kaduna State and the US$7 million Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project as some of the ongoing projects being financed by soft loans from the Bank.
He stated that the National Programme for Food Security funded by the Bank, which was designed to reduce rural poverty through enhancing farmers’ access to extension advisory support for greater productivity, was successfully implemented in Anambra, Gombe and Yobe States.
The Permanent Secretary said that discussions were on-going with the Bank to conclude, sign and implement several other programmes beneficial to Nigeria, including the US$98 million Bilingual Education Project which will provide “almajirai” access to basic education and vocational skills in Osun, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara and Kano States. Other States in the scheme are Kaduna, Gombe, Borno and Adamawa.
He stated that in addition to approving loan facilities to Nigeria, the IsDB has made several grants and provided technical assistance to Nigeria, including a US$237, 500 to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the development of regulatory framework for non-interest banking in the country and a US$250,000 grant to the National Emergency Management Agency for the development of NEMA’s capacity in disaster management.