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Buhari urges Arab bank to increase investment in Nigeria

Buhari wants LDCs to tap bond issuance for infrastructure

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA), to review the amount of capital it can inject into various economies, including Nigeria.

The President stated this on Thursday at the State House, Abuja, while granting audience to the Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development, Sid Tah.

Buhari noted that increasing the amount of capital injected into the various economies, “ would lead to greater impact as we stare at the various issues that would confront our economies.”

President Buhari also appealed to the bank to help promote peace in the Arab world, adding that there can be no development without peace, as the two are complementary to each other.

The bank had in 2019, extended a $65 million (about N23.4 billion) credit facility to Nigeria’s Sterling Bank Plc.

The sum was granted through two loan agreements signed in Cairo, Egypt.

The Director-General, Sidi Tah signed on behalf of BADEA while Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director, Corporate & Investment Banking signed on behalf of Sterling Bank.

In 2021, the Nigerian government was said to have also received a loan of $5.88 million from the Arab Bank.

President Buhari, who just on Tuesday in Nouakchott, Mauritania, received an award for Strengthening of the Peace in Africa from the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum, said the work of the Arab Bank for Economic Development “is very critical, and, indeed, a major catalyst and tool for achieving our overall objective as leaders on the continent.”

Read also: Good governance critical for peace in Africa, says Buhari

Lauding the Bank for its investment in Nigeria, the President pointed at strides in the agricultural sector regarding food security systems, capacity building, and integrated infrastructure projects.

He said the key focus of the current administration had been Security, Economy, and Anti-Corruption, noting that the three are critical “towards achieving our overall development objective not just as a country, but more importantly as a continent.”

The president observed that the issues that affect one nation also affect others, and “this has been clearly demonstrated in our fight against the tyranny of terrorists that have spread across the entire West African sub-region, and beginning to emerge in our sister countries in some parts of East and Central Africa.”

Noting that focus on agriculture and infrastructure allowed Nigeria to be resilient during the last two global economic and public health crises.

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, who had interfaced with the Bank at its headquarters, thanked the President for ensuring the improvement of security in the North East, “as we now get grants for livestock farming, gum Arabic production, infrastructure, and I believe Nigeria will still have more opportunities from the Arab Bank for Economic Development.”

Ould Tah had earlier congratulated President Buhari for his award on peace strengthening, saying it was a testimony to his efforts in promoting amity in Nigeria and Africa.

He said the Bank has a strong relationship with Nigeria and would love to do more in the areas of wheat cultivation, gum Arabic, veterinary support services, and women and youth development, among others.