Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank to organise a financing round-table in Abuja to mobilise more funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President expressed his delight at the offer at a meeting he had with the IDB President, Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The President is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia.Ali was said to have assured Buhari that the IDB will work with its traditional partners such as the Saudi Fund, the Kuwait Fund, Arab Bank for Development in Africa and the Abu Dhabi Fund, to increase the quantum of funding available to Nigeria.
Welcoming the offer, Buhari restated his government’s determination to revamp and diversify the Nigerian economy rapidly.
He said, “The days of Nigeria as a big oil producer with plenty of money are gone. We need all the support we can get to diversify our economy as quickly as possible.
“We also need to rehabilitate our infrastructure, develop the domestic capacity to feed ourselves and export the surplus.”
The President welcomed the plan by the IDB to fast track the take-off of the Bilingual Education Program, aimed at integrating the Almajiri system of education with Western education in Nigeria.The IDB has already provided $98m for the Bilingual Education Program in Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun and Yobe.
The bank plans to support similar projects in other states of Nigeria.