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Why Islamic bank approved $1.8bn for Nigerian projects

The Islamic Development Bank has revealed why the institution approved the sum of $1.8bn for Nigeria for Nigerian projects.

According to The PUNCH, the President of the Saudi-based bank, Dr Mohamed Jasser at a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja on Monday stated that the funds are meant to finance several key projects in the country.

He said, “The Islamic Development Bank has approved a total financing of $1.8bn for Nigeria. This includes $971m in project financing and $288m provided by our private sector affiliate and $477m in trade operation by our trade arm, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, and $90m by other Islamic Development Bank Group funds and operations.”

Jasser revealed that the Islamic Development Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria stands at $1.2 billion, with the bank having completed 35% of those projects and looking forward to developing bilateral and regional initiatives with Nigeria.

He stated that the bank’s portfolio included 15 federation states and praised the Federal Government for its economic diversification initiatives.

“The Islamic Development Bank will support Nigeria’s recovery from COVID-19, including providing the necessary support to the private sector to create jobs and revive economic growth,” he noted.

He noted two significant projects – the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Program and the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline – as evidence that the bank recognized Nigeria’s potential and prospects for the private sector.

He requested that the minister assist the bank in obtaining a plot of land on which to develop in Abuja, since the current office was no longer adequate for operations.

He stated that the bank had three active capacity-building programs in Nigeria, one of which was with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.

The Islamic Development Bank is an international development bank focused on infrastructure development. It comprises 57 shareholding member states, with Nigeria accounting for 8.75% of the shares.

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