Nigeria to Loose Multi-million Dollar Projects for failure to Pay IDB dues – MURIC
Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) Prof. Ishaq Akintola
London, Dec. 26, 2017 (AltAfrika)-Nigeria is about to lose its seat on the Board of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and its membership of the bank due to failure to pay its dues. The bank has allegedly issued several warnings to this effect and the Ministry of Finance has failed to comply.
The first casualty is that Nigeria will be unable to access and benefit from the $180 million IDB renewable energy project to six African countries part of a broad strategy to deepen its involvement in the region.
Consequently, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), is deeply worried by this discovery and has warned of the “dire economic consequences ” to follow should the Nigerian government fail to to act on time.
In a statement signed by the Director of MURIC Prof. Ishaq Akintola and made available to Alternativeafrika, the Organisation said” interest-free borrowing from IDB is a relief from the strangulating conditions of IMF whose only value lies in pulling nations down in the stormy waters of indebtedness and collective misery”
MURIC said “Islamic finance is growing in Africa as governments seek to develop large-scale infrastructure projects. Nigeria cannot afford to be shut out of this great opportunity. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) set aside about $2billion dollars (about N310 billion) in support of Nigeria’s developmental programmes which was to span three years (2012-2014). Nigeria also received $670million interest-free loan from the Islamic Development Bank in 2012.
“Not only that, IDB has successfully financed a number of infrastructural development projects in Nigeria in recent times. These include the $65 million Ilesha Water Supply and Sanitation project in Osun State, the $43 million 300-bed hospital project in Kaduna State and the $7 million Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project. Also, the National Programme for Food Security funded by IDB, which was designed to reduce rural poverty through enhancing farmers’ access to extension advisory support for greater productivity, was successfully implemented in Anambra, Gombe and Yobe States.
“Even right now, discussions are on-going with the bank to conclude, sign and implement several other programmes beneficial to Nigeria, including the $98 million Bilingual Education Project which will provide almajiri access to basic education and vocational skills in Osun, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara and Kano States. Other States in the scheme are Kaduna, Gombe, Borno and Adamawa.
“In addition to approving loan facilities to Nigeria, IDB has made several grants and provided technical assistance to Nigeria. These include a $237,500 to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the development of regulatory framework for non-interest banking in the country and a $250,000 grant to the National Emergency Management Agency for the development of NEMA’s capacity in disaster management.
“As recent as September 2017, Ebonyi State received $150 million from the same IDB to boost health facilities and enable the state governor to reconstruct over 198km roads, known as ring roads, which cut across eight local government areas of the state.
“All the above projects may have to stop if Nigeria fails to pay its due on or before December 31, 2017. We also stand to lose our share capital of 7.66%. Who wants to kill the goose that lays the golden egg? This is our million dollar question. Are we serious as a people? Who did this to Nigeria? How can those entrusted with the people’s fate play dumb with their destiny? Is it religion again? Does money know religion? Is it ethnicity? Or is it power-play?
“We need urgent answers to these questions. The Ministry of Finance must speak up. The tax payers are asking questions. Voters are asking questions. The hoi polloi are asking questions. Kemi Adeosun must tell Nigerians what went amiss. Nigeria must not be kicked out of IDB. It had better not happen.
“We cannot afford to lose the source of soft loans. We need more of such sources even if they come from the Vatican or the Ka’abah.
Any interest-free borrowing is a relief from the strangulating conditionalities of IMF whose only value lies in pulling nations down in the stormy waters of indebtedness and collective misery.