Federal Government urges Islamic bank to support implementation of ERGP

The Federal Government has urged the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to do more for Nigeria by supporting the implementation of the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as well as the delivery of signature infrastructure to meet the development aspirations of Nigerians.

The call was made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun who was represented by Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance at the 42nd annual meeting of the Bank.

In his presentation during the Bank’s key business session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, he said “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.”

“Also, given IsDB’s unique role as an Islamic Bank with multiplicity of intervention instruments not available to traditional development banks, we expect IsDB to be bold and work collaboratively with other MDBs to ensure overall complementary in all development interventions in Nigeria,” he added.

He further 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 in order to fast track the achievement of her numerous economic, developmental and inclusive growth goals.

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$65m Ilesha Water Supply and Sanitation project in Osun State, a US$43m 300-bed  hospital project in Kaduna State and the US$7m Zaria water supply expansion project as some of the ongoing projects being financed by 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$98m 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 added that in addition to approving loan facilities to Nigeria, the IsDB has made several grants and also 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.

US$250, 000 grant was also made to the National Emergency Management Agency for the development of NEMA’s capacity in disaster management.

Omolayo.A