Recognising education as a key tool and important element in countering terrorism, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on Monday promised to scale up financing for development of this sector in the country.
This is as the Federal Government urged the bank to work development partners to rebuild the terrorists’ devastated North-East region.
President of Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali who spoke during the official inauguration of the Nigeria Country Gateway Office of the bank said the organisation will give utmost support to the country’s development priorities by working with other development partners in the transformation process.
“The Nigerian government’s exemplary leadership and drive for national development through good governance and zero tolerance against corruption inspires the IDB Group and other development partners even more.
“This determination will go a long way in fast tracking the implementation of development programmes in Nigeria to benefit the most needy families and young Nigerians facing vulnerabilities of poverty and extremism”, he reasoned.
It was thus in this regard that the IDB Group “considers education sector and particularly bilingual education among its priority areas in Nigeria as a tool to counter violent extremism.”
Ali enumerated other areas, which the bank group will group will accord priority attention to include health, agriculture, infrastructure, SME and regional integration.
He observed that the Gateway Office will further enhance the status of Nigeria as the largest member of the IDB Group in Africa and that this role will be further displayed after the completion of on-going Algiers to Lagos expressway.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her speech described the current challenges faced by Nigeria and other developing countries as potentials and immense opportunities.
“With the situation in the Northeast region in Nigeria, I call on the IDB Group to work with Developing Partners in operationalizing the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment and the implementation of the recently constituted June 2016 Buhari Plan for the Revitilization of the Northeast Region.
“This entails addressing aspects of interventions relating to peace building, stability and social cohesion; support critical productive infrastructure and service delivery, and provide capacity building and programme management support in national, state and local government institutions”, she appealed.
Adeosun who acknowledged previous support, which the bank had rendered to Nigeria nonetheless appealed that more resources be provided as Nigeria requires far more resources to enable it address the challenges to enable it address the numerous challenges.
“Recognising the Bank’s increasing role, we wish to propose the scaling up of IDB’s concessional resource and increasing overall financing to Nigeria and other parts of Africa member countries”, she stated.