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Islamic bank approves $1.8bn to finance Nigerian projects

In a bid to drive economic growth in Nigeria, the Islamic Development Bank has sanctioned $1.8bn to finance several key projects in the country.

This was disclosed by 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.

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 disclosed that the Islamic Development Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria stood at $1.2bn, noting that the bank had completed 35 per cent of those projects and looked forward to strengthening the bilateral and regional initiatives with Nigeria.

He said the bank’s portfolio covered 15 states of the federation, commending 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 cited two key projects – Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Program and the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline – noting that the bank was aware of Nigeria’s potential and opportunities for the private sector.

He appealed to the minister to help the bank get a piece of land where it could build in Abuja as the current office was no longer enough for operations.

He said the bank had three active capacity-building programmes in Nigeria, including one in the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria,  to support the country.

The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development finance institution focusing on infrastructure development. It has 57 shareholding member states , with Nigeria holding a 8.75 per cent equity.

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