President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Mecca welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, to organize a financing round-table in Abuja to mobilize more funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.
The president of the IDB, Ahmed Ali, made the offer at a meeting with Mr. Buhari, who is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Ali assured Mr. 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, Mr. Buhari restated his government’s determination to revamp and diversify the Nigerian economy rapidly.
“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 said.
Mr. Buhari also welcomed IDB’s plan 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 had already provided $98million for the Bilingual Education Program in Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun and Yobe States.
The bank plans to support similar projects in other states of Nigeria.