The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) has announced that it will be releasing the sum of $150 million to Nigeria in a few days from now, in a bid to develop special Agro-Processing Zones in Nigeria.

The announcement was made by the Vice President, Country Operations, ISDB, Dr Mansur Muhtar, during a panel session at the 5th African International Conference on Islamic Finance held in Abuja.  The conference was graced by dignitaries including but not limited to; the former Emir of Kano and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido.

Delivering a speech, the VP of ISDB, Dr Muhtar who spoke on the topic ’’Infrastructure Financing , Sustainability and the Future of African Markets’’, harped on the need to maximize the inherent potentials in the non-interest banking space for the overall growth and development of the country. He noted that the space is capable of providing funds that could spur infrastructural growth in the country.

Speaking further, he noted that Islamic banking is asset backed and based on participation and risk sharing, including social and environmental sustainability that are consistent with Islamic principles of supporting infrastructure.

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Muhtar added that: ‘At IsDB, we focus on projects in social and fiscal infrastructure to implement these projects we place a lot of emphasis on regional connectivity.

“For example, in Nigeria, in the next couple of days, the IsDB will be making a contribution to a project that is aimed at supporting the development of special agricultural processing zones and we will be committing $150bn. We have also been involved in several other projects in Nigeria.” On the other hand, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido charged policy makers to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework that would enforce the legality of finance contracts and ensure Sharia compliance must be in place for Islamic Banking to thrive in Nigeria.