H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), pledged unwavering support for Nigeria’s future growth and development ambitions during a high-profile event, “Nigeria’s Innovative Agro-Industrial Transformation.” The event was a key part of the UN Food Systems Summit+2 held in Rome on 24 July 2023.
The discussion revolved around inventive financing for Nigeria’s food systems transformation and featured esteemed panelists including Nigeria’s Vice President, the Executive Governor of Benue State, and the Presidents of IFAD and AfDB, among others.
Al Jasser praised Nigeria’s innovative efforts for food systems transformation and lauded the African Development Bank for pioneering the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) program. This, he noted, supports not only Nigeria but also other regional IsDB member nations in harmony with IsDB’s updated strategic priority and Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021-2025).
Emphasizing the Bank’s concerns over conflict-impacted food security, Al Jasser revealed IsDB’s July 2022-launched Food Security Response Program (FSRP) worth $10.50 billion. He affirmed that Nigeria will be among the initial beneficiaries, with an estimated $30 million soon to be approved under the program, and further support in the pipeline.
He championed SAPZ as a program with great potential to stimulate food production, curb food price inflation, transform agriculture, guarantee food security, and generate employment.
With agriculture being a primary growth engine and employment generator in IsDB member countries, the Bank’s engagement in Nigeria spans across multiple sectors. Ongoing consultations are currently taking place with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning for future collaborative strategies.