The Islamic Development Bank, IDB, will work with Nigerian officials to develop a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of Northern Nigeria, the Bank’s President, Ahmad Ali, has said.
Mr. Ali stated this in Jeddah, the headquarters of IDB, on Sunday, when he received a high level delegation of 5 governors from the Northern Nigerian States Governors Forum, NSGF.
The delegation, led by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, included Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, Umar Al-Makura of Nassarawa State and Muhammad Abubakar of Jigawa State.
“We will work together to come up with a comprehensive and constructive plan to support northern Nigeria”, Mr. Ali said. “We will start with education, particularly bilingual education, and other areas such as job creation.”
“before you leave Jeddah, I would like to have a list of your priority areas, from education, power to agriculture and so on.”
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, stated that in Nigeria, “poverty wears a northern face”, therefore the purpose of their visit to IDB is to explore credible avenues to enhance developmental activities.
Mr. Shettima told the president of IDB that the region is suffering from joblessness, low access to education and healthcare facilities, despite the abundant resources in the region.
“It is a giant with a feet of clay” he added.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. El-Rufa’i told the IDB president that the Northeastern region requires urgent intervention in education, electricity supply and poverty reduction, as according to him, a major cause for the insurgency is poverty.
IDB’s Vice President (operations), Mansur Muhtar, told the delegation that IDB will do its best to look into various areas of intervention, particularly in the development of infrastructure which is a key priority in the bank’s 10 year development strategy. He then thanked the delegation for visiting IDB, and said he hopes that the visit will help in forging a stronger partnership that will help in mobilizing resources for the development of the region.