In a pivotal meeting on Monday night in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, President Bola Tinubu engaged in substantive negotiations with the management of the Islamic Development Bank to secure a multi-billion dollar infrastructure finance facility. The funding is intended to support a diverse portfolio of infrastructure projects at both the federal and sub-national levels in Nigeria.
This development emerged following discussions between President Tinubu and Dr. Mansur Muhtar, the Vice-President (Country Programs) of the Islamic Development Bank, held after the President’s return from evening prayers.
“We have serious deficits in port infrastructure, power infrastructure, and agro-allied facilities that will enable sustainable food security in our country. These deficits present unrivalled opportunity for savvy investors in a market that is by far the largest on the continent. Yes, we had the vision to enable Lekki Deep Seaport before others saw it. We must be bold again“.
President Tinubu expressed his determination to position Nigeria as a beacon of hope for Africa, emphasizing the nation’s potential as a high-yielding investment destination. He highlighted the significant deficits in port infrastructure, power infrastructure, and agro-allied facilities crucial for sustainable food security. The President underscored the investment opportunities in these sectors and welcomed the Islamic Development Bank as a key partner in Nigeria’s progress.
“Nigeria is the candle of hope that will light the way for Africa. And once Africa is illuminated, the world will be a brighter place for all of humanity. We are determined to create a future for our gifted youths. Investments in Nigeria will be among the world’s most high-yielding. Investor money will flow easily in and out of our country. Processes will be seamless. And your bank has always been a faithful partner in progress”.
Acknowledging the challenges inherited by President Tinubu, Dr. Mansur Muhtar commended the President for swift and decisive economic reforms. The Islamic Development Bank expressed readiness to collaborate on substantial investments in Nigeria, recognizing the country’s pivotal role in the success of the African continent. The Vice-President pledged the bank’s support for Nigeria’s economic transformation.
“We inherited serious liabilities, but also assets from our predecessors. We do not make any excuses. There are several sectors replete with investment opportunity for smart investors. Access to finance and guarantees can be a hindrance in some cases. You can come in there. We see you as a critical enabler. You have partnered with us before. We want to scale it up now and do much more with greater ambition and clear vision,” the President stated.
President Tinubu, expressing gratitude to the Islamic Development Bank, pledged his administration’s unwavering commitment to gaining investors’ trust and confidence, drawing parallels to his successful efforts in Lagos State.
Notable members of the Nigerian delegation at the meeting included Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State, Governor Umar Bago of Niger State, and Senator Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Budget & Economic Planning.
The Islamic Development Bank President recently announced a $50 billion U.S. Dollars investment for the African continent, with Nigeria expected to receive a significant share due to its status as the largest market and economy in Africa. The meeting signifies a strategic move towards fostering economic development and transformation in Nigeria through international partnerships and financial support.