Nigeria, Islamic Development Bank will deepen ties —Buhari

From right, President Muhammadu Buhari; President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr A.M Ali-Madani; Vice-President of the bank, Dr Mansur Muhtar and the Resident Representative Country Gateway Office, Dr Abdellah Kiliaki, at the State House, Abuja, on Monday.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said the Federal Government will deepen its partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to fund critical projects in health and infrastructure sector.

Receiving, Dr Ali Madani, the president of the IDB Group, at the State House, Abuja, on Monday, he commended the bank for supporting several developmental projects across the country.

The president acknowledged that the bank had funded several people-oriented projects in Osun, Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger, Katsina, Kano and Ebonyi states, demonstrating its “soft spot and robust support’’ for Nigeria.

He added: ‘‘We can’t thank you enough for the height you have achieved for the bank in 41 years. Now that you are about to retire, we thank you for the quality leadership which the world has recognised.”

President Buhari also expressed appreciation to the IDB Group and other countries for extending their assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East.

Buhari assured the visiting IDB chief that Nigeria, a major financier of the bank, would meet all its obligations to the development institution within the shortest time possible.

The president highlighted efforts of the current administration at diversifying the economy, with emphasis on agriculture, expressing optimism that Nigeria would achieve self-sufficiency in rice and sugar, and export both commodities in the next three years.

In his remarks, Dr Madani congratulated President Buhari on the positive outcomes of the war against corruption and terrorism.

He said the bank was ready to mobilise resources from Arab fund for developmental initiatives of the Nigerian government and the private sector, particularly on agriculture.