The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will hold its first business and investment forum in Nigeria this month, Senior Economist, Operations Planning and Services Department of the Bank Abdallah Kiliaki has said.
He made the remarks in Abuja when he led some officials of the bank on a visit to the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
He said the forum which is scheduled for 23rd and 24th of February this year in Abuja will enable the bank to interact with the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria’s public and private sectors.
He said: “Our coming to NIPC is basically to discuss with the authority on our intention to organize a business forum in Nigeria to introduce the Islamic Development Bank group to stakeholders in Nigeria in the public sector as well as the private sector.”
He said that though the bank reflected Islam in its name, its operation has nothing to do with religion, adding that it only operates with Islamic ethics and code.
He explained that the Bank does not finance mosque or religious activities, adding that membership is opened to both Muslim and Christian nations.
He said that all the goals and objectives of the bank are geared towards poverty reduction and economic development without any political attachment, saying it operates like the World Bank and IMF.
He said: “We are not coming to establish a bank but to partner with the government and corporate bodies to finance project, though the bank is not after profit making but the loan is not totally free.
“The interest on loan is so minute compare to other banks. We use Islamic code of finance. It does not mean that the loan is free but we are more compassionate, we do charge a mark up which varies from project to project.”
He said the bank had already invested a whopping $200 million in Nigeria for the financing of several projects since the country became a member in 2005 which include among others, food security, education, health, trade and financing.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Engr. Mustapha Bello said the visit of the team to Nigeria came at the right time when country needs financing at both private and public sector of the economy.
Represented by Stephen Amase, Director of Finance and Administration, the Executive Director said the Islamic Development Bank will be of much benefit to Nigerians as it would be offering long term financings which are not derivable from the commercial banks.
source : allafrica