The Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved an additional $389.3 billion to support development initiatives in member countries and Muslim communities across the world.
The approval was given at the 282nd meeting of the board, which took place in the course of the 37th Annual Meeting of IDB, on Tuesday in Khartoum, Sudan.
Dr Muhammed Ali, President of the IDB Group, who presided, announced that the board also approved $867 million (or N134.3 billion) for educational and health projects for Muslim communities in the United States of America, Denmark, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.
Ali said that the additional funding would cover different infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan, Lebanon, Uganda, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Mauritania, and Iran.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo accompanied by his wife, Hajiya Amina Sambo, is leading the Federal Government delegation to the meeting, which officially opened on Tuesday
In his remark at the opening ceremony, Sambo said Nigeria identified with the primary aims and objectives of the bank.
According to him, no endeavour is more worthwhile than the development of human capital, investing in poverty alleviation, and advancing the frontiers of science and technology.
“Let me use this opportunity to register Nigeria’s close identification with the primary aims and objectives of the IDB Group.
“We all know that no endeavor is more worthwhile than the development of human capital, investing in poverty alleviation, advancing the frontiers of science and technology, improving our individual economy and economies of member countries and by extension the global economy.
“These objectives are in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda.”
Vice President Sambo further said that sub-Saharan Africa was keenly interested in programmes with the capacity to alleviate poverty and the promotion of the economic and social developments of the vulnerable segment of its population.
He lauded the bank for its efforts toward the eradication of poverty in Africa and other member countries.
“Permit me to say that in Africa particularly sub- Saharan Africa, we have keen interest in the programmes that focus particularly on poverty alleviation and the promotion of economic and social developments of the vulnerable segment of our population.
“I thank you for the support you have always given to development initiatives in Africa and to therefore solicit your continuous support for the implementation of the Special Program for the Development of Africa (SPDA II) as SPDA I is rounding up.”
Sambo assured the group of the continued support and commitment of the Nigeria toward building a stronger partnership and institution that would drive and provide the much needed developmental needs of the bank’s member countries.
On the bank’s Special Programme for Development of Africa (SPDA), Sambo advised that in designing the second phase of SPDA, the bank should consider the successes and failures recorded in the first phase.
He urged bank to determine the impact achieved, how many people had been lifted out of poverty, and the sectors with the most significant benefits in member countries.
In his remarks, President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, commended the developmental initiatives of the bank and expressed appreciation to the bank for supporting the economic development efforts of his country.
The annual meeting, which was declared open by Al-Bashir, is being attended by ministers of finance, economy and planning in the 56 member countries along with hundreds of other delegates. (NAN)