President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to organise a financing roundtable in Abuja to mobilise funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.
The president announced this while reacting to an offer by the President of the bank, Dr Ahmed Ali, during a meeting in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Ali assured President Buhari that the IDB would 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.
While welcoming the offer, President 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.
The president also welcomed the plan by the IDB to fast track the take-off of the Bilingual Education Programme, aimed at integrating the Almajiri system of education with Western education in Nigeria.
The IDB has already provided 98 million dollars for the Bilingual Education Programme in Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun and Yobe states.
The bank plans to support similar projects in other states of Nigeria.