samboThe Federal Government has sought the support of the Islamic Development Bank for the provision of about $450m to expand the power transmission system to wheel up to 20,000 megawatts of electricity.

A statement on Sunday quoted Vice-President Namadi Sambo as making the request on behalf of the government in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, when he received the bank’s President, Dr. Ahmed Ali, who paid him a courtesy visit.

Sambo is currently in Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj.

He was quoted as saying that for the progress being made in the power sector to be meaningful, more funds needed to be injected in the transmission component.

The vice-president said Nigeria would need about $450m from the bank to expand the transmission system to wheel up to 20,000MW of electricity.

Sambo also called on the bank to consider the construction of a road linking Lagos to Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire.

He also requested the IDB to extend its support to the Nigerian private sector in the areas of education, aviation and agriculture.

“Vice-president Sambo noted the progress made by the government in the power sector, construction and expansion of deep seaports, especially those of Lekki and Ibaka, as well as the development of the Aluminium Smelter Company, where he stated that efforts were being geared towards ensuring the participation of investors in the mining sector,” the statement read.

While thanking the IDB for the continued support and cooperation with Nigeria, Sambo said all the approvals granted by the bank over the years had been ratified by the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council.

Ali was quoted as saying in his remarks that the purpose of his visit was to give a push to the Nigeria-IDB cooperation.

He said the bank had approved three out of the five projects submitted by the country.

The projects, according to him, are the construction of four new science secondary schools in Kaduna State worth $17,9m; construction of a 300-bed specialist hospital in Kaduna State at $43.15m; and the Zaria water supply project worth  $81.0m.

He explained that the$32.40m Jigawa State rural development project and the bilingual education programme for Borno, Gombe and Niger states worth $30.53m were under consideration.

Ali promised to look at all the requests made with a view to giving them favourable and accelerated consideration.

He said the bank was always pleased to accord priority to projects involving more than one member country.

The IDB president added that the bank was working on a trans-Saharan road involving several countries, including Chad, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia and Nigeria.

He said the road would provide a platform for commuters to travel from Africa to Europe by road.

Ali stated that approval would soon be given for the Lekki seaport worth $150m.

Present at the meeting were the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Abubakar Shuni; Alhaji Isiyaku Rabiu; Alhaji Kashim Shettima and Alhaji Yahaya Imam, among others.

 

Information from Punch was used in this report.

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