Saudi Arabia- based Islamic Development Bank, IDB has approved $1. 8 billion for various developmental projects across the country. The special intervention fund will be used for the Nigeria/Morocco gas pipeline and other projects according to details provided by the bank.
The Federal government has recently ramp up efforts to actualise an agreement it signed with the Kingdom of Morocco to build a trans-Sahara gas pipeline to transport gas to Europe, particularly amidst the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The bank is one of Nigeria’s development partners and has been involved in many life-changing projects in the country, by advancing loans and aid to the federal government.
The IDB said the fund will be used to fund key projects that will drive economic growth in the country.
This was disclosed by the President of the Saudi-based bank, Dr Mohamed Jasser, at a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja on Monday.
“The Islamic Development Bank has approved a total financing of $1.8bn for Nigeria. This includes $971m in project financing and $288m provided by our private sector affiliate and $477m in trade operation by our trade arm, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, and $90m by other Islamic Development Bank Group funds and operations,” Jasser said.
Last year, the Buhari administration obtained a $29 million loan from the bank and another $5 million from the Arab Bank as part of the government’s multilateral debt which at the time totaled $17 billion.
The debt has since hit the rooftop as many criticized the Buhari government for borrowing more than any administration in the country.
The government says it will continue to borrow in other to bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country.
”It is in our own interest that the government does some borrowing and spends it on investment because that sector contributes to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and contributes to employment,” Babatunde Raji Fashola told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN in his defense of the federal government.
“I do not support irresponsible borrowing so let us be clear; there has to be some sense to this.
“So long as you are borrowing to invest and you are investing in assets, then we can have this debate from morning till night and I don’t think I will come out unsuccessful. I agree everybody must keep their eyes open about how money is being borrowed, what it is being used for and whether the debt is sustainable,” the minister said.