Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, February 1, 2016 – The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will work with the Government of Nigeria to develop a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of Northern Nigeria.
IDB’s p President, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, made the announcement during a visit by a high-level delegation of five governors from the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF).
The delegation, led by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, included Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, Umar Tanko Al-Makura of Nassarawa State and Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
“We will work together to come up with a comprehensive and constructive plan to support Northern Nigeria,” Dr. Ali told the delegates. “We will start with education, particularly bilingual education, and other areas such as job creation. Before you leave Jeddah, I would like to have a list of your priority areas, such as education, power, agriculture and so on.”
Delegation leader Governor Shettima said that in Nigeria, “Poverty wears a northern face. Therefore the purpose of our visit to IDB is to explore credible avenues to enhance developmental activities.” Governor Shettima added that people in the region are suffering from joblessness and limited access to education and healthcare, despite the abundant resources in the region. “It is a giant with feet of clay,” he said.
Governor El-Rufa’i said that the northeastern region requires urgent intervention in education, electricity supply and poverty reduction. He added that poverty is a major cause for the insurgency taking place in the area.
IDB’s Vice President of Operations, Dr. Mansur Muhtar, told the delegation that IDB will look into various areas of intervention, particularly on developing infrastructure, which is a key priority in the Bank’s 10-year development strategy. Dr. Muhtar thanked the delegation for visiting IDB, and said that the visit will forge a stronger partnership that will help mobilize resources for the development of the region.