Northern Nigerian Breaking News

IsDB’s partnership with Nigeria- Salisu Na’inna Dambatta

By Salisu Na’inna Dambatta

The forthcoming Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group in Egypt from June 1 to June 4, 2022, should be yet another forum  for Nigeria to actively explore more areas of mutually beneficial partnership with the  Bank.

Nigeria joined the international financial institution  in 2005 with the main  objectives of gaining  stronger and wider economic  linkages with sister countries  on the global stage, and also benefitting from the development financing activities of the Bank.

Both basic objectives have been achieved.  By  being a member and shareholder in the Bank,  Nigeria belongs to  yet another development partner and a group of 57 member-countries drawn from Africa, Asia,  Europe and Latin America   Nigeria is the fourth largest shareholder in the Bank, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran respectively. Its share subscription is worth $3.9 billion.  That translates to 7.66 per cent of the Bank’s capital.

Nigeria is so held in high esteem by members of the Bank for its contributions to its success that Abuja was chosen  as a regional hub or gateway for overseeing  its activities in Nigeria, Gabon, Niger, Mozambique, Barkina Faso, the Republic of Cameroon, Uganda, Senegal, Djibouti and Guinea Bisau.

In Nigeria, the main areas of financing  by the Bank are health, agriculture, infrastructure, small and medium-scale enterprise and regional integration.  The  education sector is also  among its priority financing  areas in Nigeria. This is because education, especially bilingual, is  a key tool for countering  extremism in the society.

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And data from the Bank shows  bold footprints with various completed or ongoing  projects in those priority areas in parts of the country.  The total number of  projects is 119 worth US$1.8 billion. Out of the 119 projects, the data indicates that 71 projects   have been delivered successfully.  The   data indicates that a total of 48 projects are ongoing.

It is important to note that in addition to the priority areas listed, the IsDB has financed projects  in other sectors including Energy, Finance, Industry and Mining, Information and Communication Technology, Water, Sanitation and Urban Services and Transportation.   Aside the US$1.8 billion, IsDB has made fresh  commitments to finance projects in Nigeria in the sum of US$929.6m  in the coming months.

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The Jeddah-based IsDB Group is deploying US$ 180.27 million for two major projects in Nigeria namely the US$150.52 million for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) project and US$ 29.75 million for the Nigeria segment of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Phase II Study project for the Nigeria – Morocco Gas Pipeline.

The  Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone once operational would enable producers, processors, and the entire agricultural value chain in Nigeria  to become more functional and profitable. IsDB says the Zone “is expected to increase household income for the beneficiaries, create 185,000 new jobs, and enhance food security by increasing the yields of key crops.”

The IsDB said the  SAPZ Project it is financing will cover almost all activities in FCT, Kano and Kwara amounting to US$55.40 million for FCT; Kano US$41.90 million and Kwara US$ 53.22 million respectively. The agricultural productivity and production programme in Kano State is being co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).”

In the infrastructure sector, the IsDB  approved funding for upgrading the Minna-Bida Road Project in Niger State in the sum of  US$86.64 million. The overall development objective of the project is   to contribute to the socio-economic development of Niger State  through the construction of a safe, efficient, and cost-effective interconnection among the Local Government Areas the road traverses in Niger State.

“The Project reduces travel time, vehicle operating cost and road maintenance cost, in addition to improved traffic flow and increased road safety,” it as explained.

In the education sector, the ISDB said the nine states of  Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Osun are benefitting through a project it financed which was designed to  improve the socio-economic condition of Nigerians, ensure the provision of inclusive  and  bilingual education.

He said the aim of the project was to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic condition of Nigeria, ensure inclusive education and promote bilingual education.

The Nigerian delegation to the 47th Annual Meeting in Egypt should bring more IsDB projects to Nigeria.  The team is not there for sightseeing tour to those ancient sites which made that African country a major tourist destination.

Na’inna writes from Kano state

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