By Ndubuisi Francis
The Federal Government has asked for the scaling up of Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB’s) concessional resource and increased overall financing to Nigeria and other Africa
member countries of the bank.
The government said the proposal was in recognition of IDB’s increasing role, and urged it to leverage on its Triple “A” rating to continue mobilising resources from the market for the benefit of member countries.
Speaking at the inauguration of the IDB Country Gateway Office (CGO) in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said amid the challenges faced by emerging economies, including Nigeria, are potential and immense opportunities.
“Nigeria looks forward to a stronger engagement anchored in its development aspirations. The Federal Government of Nigeria under the Muhammadu Buhari administration is working hard to diversify the economy of Nigeria, which has been reflected in the 2016 budget.
“I call on IDB to use its experience in mobilising resources, as it has done in other countries, to support the government in its drive to diversity the economy.
“With the situation in the Northeast region of Nigeria, I call on the IDB Group to work with development partners in operationalising the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment and the implementation of the recently constituted June 2016 Buhari Plan for the Revitalisation of the Northeast Region.
“This entails addressing aspects of interventions relating to peace building, stability and social cohesion; support critical productive infrastructure and service delivery; and provide capacity building and program management support in national, state and local government institutions, she said
Notwithstanding what she described as IDB’s significant contributions in the past, the minister pointed out that Nigeria requires far more resources to enable it address the challenges she outlined.
.”It is in this regard that we urge the IDB, along with the Arab Coordination Group and the private sector from IDB member states to lend greater support to Nigeria,” Adeosun said.
Adeosun stated that Nigeria made history when it joined the IDB in June 2005 as the 56th member country, adding that it was making another history by physically setting up an office in the Federal Capital territory, Abuja.
“The inauguration of this office is an important milestone in the relationship between Nigeria and the Islamic Development Bank, for several reasons: It will strengthen the cooperation and the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the IDB Group,
“It will bring the IDB Group closer to the people and to appreciate the challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians, and collaborate with the federal government of Nigeria in executing projects that will improve the living standard of our people,” she added.
The minister added that the bank’s presence in Nigeria would add to the pool of development partners with field presence in the country, stressing that the international standing of the bank along with other multilateral development banks can help mobilise additional resources for the development of the country,
“I am aware that, the management of the IDB Group agreed to establish a Country Gateway Office (CGO) on the premise that value addition to Nigeria will certainly increase by being close to the member countries. Physical presence and a closer and frequent interaction will also increase the knowledge of IDB Group about the challenges faced by Nigeria.
“Nigeria looks forward to a stronger engagement anchored in its development aspirations. The Federal Government of Nigeria under the Muhammadu Buhari administration is working hard to diversify the economy of Nigeria, which has been reflected in the 2016 budget. I call on IDB to use its experience in mobilizing resources, as it has done in other countries, to support the Government in its drive to diversity the economy.
“As Nigeria strives to attain the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), we welcome IDB Group’s support through its products and services to ensure that Nigeria is not left behind,” Adeosun noted.