The Islamic Development Bank said it has approved a total financing of $1.8 billion for funding developmental programs in Nigeria.
The amount includes $971 million on project financing by IsDB, about 288 million provided by the Islamic Corporation for the Development (ICD).
President & chairman of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), Dr. Mohamed Suleiman Aljasser made the disclosure yesterday when he led a delegation of the bank on a courtesy visit to the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed.
The Islamic bank also requested the federal government to give it a land to build a permanent office in Abuja. Nigeria is the largest office outside of the bank’s head office in Jedda. The bank is engaged in other areas like education and health, a reason Aljasser said the bank is looking forward to entering the food sector as there is a $10 billion facility Nigeria can benefit from.
IsDB said it is partnering other organizations as the African Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to establish Special Agriculture Processing Zones (SAPZ), across the country.
The IsDB president said 190km rural roads would be constructed to support Small and Medium Scale farmers in Nigeria.
In details, Aljasser said “our private sector affiliate, $477 million in trade operations by our trade arm, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and $90 million from other Islamic Development Bank funds and operations.
In addition, he said the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), its investment guarantee arm has provided $1.1 billion as business insured and $1 billion as a new insurance commitment to help attract businesses and insure them.
“With the IsDB active portfolio in Nigeria standing now at $1.2 billion and we have completed about 55 percent of all of those projects.
“And we look forward to strengthening relations on bilateral relations. Out of the 36 states in Nigeria, IsDB has investments in 16 states. I applaud the federal government of Nigeria for emphasizing the diversification of the economy,” he said at the event that was held at the minister’s Abuja office.
Aljasser said the bank will try to boost activities of the private sector activities of the private arm of the IsDB to assist the development of the private sector and the economic diversification program of the government.
“The IsDB is keen to continue to engage Nigeria on its strategic priority areas such as economic and social infrastructure, and advisory support for strengthening Islamic financial services.
“IsDB is committed to supporting Nigeria to deal with the recovery phase of COVID-19 including providing the necessary support to the private sector to create and revive economic growth. Two projects, SAPZ and the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline – very important projects for Nigeria’s hydrocarbon and the rest of the world.
In response, the finance minister assured the IsDB team that should raised the request for land with the President and her counterpart at the Federal Capital Territory for expeditious action.
She also said that the government would take advantage of the scholarships provided by the bank to raise the quality of human capital development in the country.