President Bola Tinubu, on Monday night, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, advanced negotiations concerning a multi-billion dollar infrastructure finance facility from the Islamic Development Bank to fund a multi-sectoral portfolio of infrastructure projects at the federal and sub-national levels in Nigeria.
This development was the outcome of substantive investment discussions held between President Tinubu and the Vice-President (Country Programs) of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Mansur Muhtar, after the President’s return from evening prayers.
“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.
“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 an 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.
“We inherited serious liabilities, but also assets from our predecessors. We do not make any excuses. There are several sectors replete with investment opportunities 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.
Noting the historic essence of President Tinubu’s swift and decisive economic reforms, the Vice-President of the Islamic Development Bank said the financial world has been monitoring events in Nigeria and has concluded that Africa’s largest economy means business this time.
“Mr. President, we know you inherited a very tough set of circumstances. It is to your credit that you have taken very bold steps without delay. We are ready to work with you. We are ready to support big investments in Nigeria. We agree that if Nigeria succeeds, Africa will succeed. And the world needs Africa to succeed.
“The Islamic Development Bank President announced the provision of $50 billion U.S. Dollars of new investment for the African continent from the Arab Coordination Group (ACG). This was announced at the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Summit. As the largest market and the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria will certainly receive a significant share. We look forward to supporting Nigeria’s economic transformation,” the Islamic Development Bank Vice-President said.
The President concluded by thanking the Islamic Development Bank management while pledging the unwavering commitment of his administration to win investors’ trust and confidence, just as he did in Lagos State many years ago.
Members of the Nigerian delegation present at the meeting in Mecca were: Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State; Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State; Governor Umar Bago of Niger State; Minister of Budget & Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, and others.