Northern Governors meet Islamic Development Bank officials in Saudi Arabia

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

Worried by developmental challenges facing Northern Nigeria, some northern governors will on Sunday begin a three-day meeting with top executives of the Islamic Development Bank in Jedda, Saudi Arabia.

The meeting will take place at the Bank’s headquarters.

Sunday is a working day in the Islamic country with Fridays and Saturdays being work free days.

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who is also the Chairman of the Northern States Governors ‘ Forum, NSGF, is leading the delegation.

The delegation also includes Governors Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa, Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna and Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa.

Some top officials of the New Nigerian Development Company owned by the 19 northern states are also part of the delegation.

The delegation, which also includes a former Chief economic Adviser to late President Umaru Yar’Adua, Tanimu Kurfi, was received by the IDB on Saturday in Jedda.

The spokesperson of Governor Shettima, Isa Gusau, who is part of the delegation, said in a statement on Saturday that the decision to seek development partnership with the IDB was part of resolutions reached by the 19 governors, at one of their meetings held in September in Kaduna.

The meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Shettima, deliberated on ways of tackling challenges of agriculture, poverty, education, maternal mortality ‎and other problems most prevalent in the northern part of Nigeria.

At the discussions on Sunday, the governors are expected to meet with the President of IDB. Ahmad Ali, and Vice President, Operations of the IDB Group.

They are also scheduled to meet on Nigeria-IDB Cooperation with a wide range of possible areas of collaboration to be discussed.

In subsequent days, the Governors are expected to hold different meetings with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & Export Credit, Islamic Research and Training Institute, and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development ; all of which are bodies under the IDB, with a view to reaching a developmental partnership on different sectors in northern Nigeria.

Established about 41 years ago, the Islamic Development Bank is an international financial institution involved in equity capital, financing productive projects for the economic and social development of 56 countries who are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It supports Muslim communities including those in none-member countries, through special intervention funds set aside by the bank for international cooperation.

The Bank also promotes foreign trade in capital goods; provides technical assistance to member countries; and extends training facilities for personnel engaged in development activities in Muslim populated communities around the world.

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