The Federal Government on Monday called on the Islamic Development Bank to assist in implementing some of its intervention programmes in the North-East that had been badly hit by the activities of insurgents.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who stated this while receiving the President of the IDB Group, Dr. Ali Madani, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, stressed that the government would deepen its partnership with the bank to fund critical projects in the infrastructure sector.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President commended the bank for supporting several developmental projects across the country.
‘‘We can’t thank you enough for the height you have achieved for the bank in 41 years. Now that you are about to retire, we thank you for the quality leadership which the world has recognised,’’ the President said.
Buhari also thanked the IDB Group and other countries for extending their assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The President assured the visiting IDB chief that Nigeria, a major financier of the bank, would meet all its obligations to the development institution within the shortest time possible.
The President highlighted efforts of the current administration at diversifying the economy with emphasis on agriculture and expressed strong optimism that Nigeria would achieve self-sufficiency in rice and sugar, and export both commodities in the next three years.
In his remarks, Madani congratulated Buhari on the positive outcomes of the war against corruption and terrorism.
He said the bank was ready to mobilise resources from Arab fund for developmental initiatives of the Nigerian government and the private sector, particularly agriculture.
Similarly, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while speaking during the inauguration of the IDB country office in Abuja, said since the administration of President Buhari was working hard to rebuild the region, there was a need for the IDB to assist in the critical infrastructure and capacity-building programmes.
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
Nigeria Aims for $5 Billion Annually in Humanitarian Funding
Finance3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 6th November 2023
Business2 weeks ago
Nigeria’s Logistics Sector Holds Untapped N3tn Potential, Says Courier and Logistics Management Institute
News4 weeks ago
N-Power Beneficiaries to Receive Eight Months of Owed Payments After Funds Recovery
Black Market Rate2 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 14th November 2023
News2 weeks ago
Millionaire Powerplay Limited Unveils Unprecedented Odds in American Lotto’s Instant Cashless Payout
Naira4 weeks ago
Nigerian Naira Hits Record Low of N993.83 Against the Dollar at I&E Forex Window
Black Market Rate3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 9th November 2023
News3 weeks ago
N-Power Batch C1 Programme Successfully Concluded, Investigation Ensures Eligible Beneficiaries Receive Payments