By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will fortify its ties with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to fund critical projects in health, water and the infrastructure sector.
Mr Buhari made this known on Monday in Abuja when he received President of the IDB Group, Dr Ali Madani, at the State House.
President Buhari commended the bank for supporting several developmental projects across the country and said the Federal Government will continue to support for the institution.
He acknowledged that the bank has funded several people-oriented projects in Osun, Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger, Katsina, Kano and Ebonyi states, demonstrating its “soft spot and robust support” for Nigeria.
Mr Buhari said, “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 recognized.”
President Buhari also expressed appreciation to the IDB Group and other countries for extending their assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The President assured the visiting IDB chief that Nigeria, a major financier of the bank, will meet all its obligations to the development institution within the shortest time possible.
He highlighted efforts of the current administration at diversifying the economy with emphasis on agriculture and expressed strong optimism that Nigeria will 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 is ready to mobilize resources from Arab fund for developmental initiatives of the Nigerian government and the private sector, particularly on agriculture.