Tinubu eyes IDB $50bn infrastructure fund

President Bola Tinubu on Monday sought a multi-billion dollar infrastructure finance facility from the Islamic Development Bank to fund a multi-sectoral portfolio of infrastructure projects across the country.

This was part of President Tinubu’s discussions with the Vice-President (Country Programmes) of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr Mansur Muhtar.

“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,” Tinubu told Muhtar after the evening prayers in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Monday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he issued on Tuesday.

Advancing negotiations with the bank, the President said “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.”

He assured the money-lending institution that “Investments in Nigeria will be among the world’s most high-yielding” adding that “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.”

The Nigerian leader admitted “serious deficits in port infrastructure, power infrastructure, and agro-allied facilities that will enable sustainable food security in our country”.

These deficits, Tinubu said, “Present unrivalled opportunity for savvy investors in a market that is by far the largest on the continent.”

On his part, Muhtar said President Tinubu’s swift and decisive economic reforms, affirming that the financial world had been monitoring events in Nigeria and had concluded that Africa’s largest economy meant business this time.

He remarked, “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 succeeds. And the world needs Africa to succeed.”

The IDB VP also revealed that the bank’s president announced the provision of $50bn of new investment for African from the Arab Coordination Group, promising that Nigeria would get a major share.

“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.

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