Posted by News Express | 26 February 2016 | 2,859 times
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Mecca welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to organise a financing round table in Abuja to mobilise more funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.
The President of the IDB, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali, made the offer at a meeting with President Buhari, who is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Ali assured President 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.
“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 told Dr. Ali.
Buhari 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 US$ 98 million 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.
In another development, President Buhari said Thursday in Mecca that the Federal Government will welcome support from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its ongoing efforts to rehabilitate parts of the country affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking at a meeting with the Secretary General of the OIC, Mr Iyad Ameen Madani, Buhari urged the organisation to send a fact-finding mission to the ravaged states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to see the damage done by terrorists.
The President told Mr. Madani that the fact-finding visit will help the OIC to determine the scope of assistance it can offer to Nigeria for the rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons.
Buhari also challenged the OIC to act urgently in support of the restoration of peace, law and order to Libya which, he said, had been breeding the terrorists causing mayhem in West and Central African countries following the fall of the Ghaddafi regime.
He agreed with Mr. Madani that Islam has been wilfully misrepresented by terrorists.
The President said that it is only by educating people properly about Islam that terrorists will be deprived of legitimacy and a basis for the recruitment of followers.
He therefore urged the OIC to assist the Federal Government in bringing true knowledge and enlightenment to all Nigerians.
•State House Photo shows Buhari with IDB President, Dr. Ahmad Mohammed Ali . . . yesterday in Saudi Arabia.
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