Bloomberg News

Islamic Bank to Finance Nigeria Education After Militant Attacks

March 15, 2012

The Islamic Development Bank will provide $95 million in loans to integrate Nigeria’s Koranic schools with the West African country’s mainstream education system after a spate of militant attacks.

“The main purpose is to link the boys coming out of the Koranic schools, the madrasas, with the public education system,” IDB President Ahmad Mohammed Ali, said yesterday in an interview in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. “This is very important now with the unfortunate problem of Boko Haram.”

Authorities in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, blame Boko Haram, a Taliban-inspired Islamist group whose name means “Western education is a sin,” for a surge in gun and bomb attacks in the country’s mainly Muslim north that have claimed hundreds of lives since 2009.

The Jeddah-based multilateral lender may also provide more than $2 billion over three years for projects in power, agriculture and infrastructure, he said. The lender is still in talks with the government over the details and amount, Ali said.

President Goodluck Jonathan asked parliament on Feb. 14 to approve plans to borrow $7.9 billion for oil and gas pipeline projects to increase crude output and boost the supply of gas to new power stations. Five banks, including the IDB, World Bank, and Export-Import Bank of China, will provide $2.64 billion annually, Jonathan’s office said in the three-year borrowing report.

The IDB also signed agreements during visits to Libya and Tunisia this week for $50 million each to create jobs in the North African countries, Ali said.

“There’s a big problem in Libya there to take care of the fighters with guns and to find jobs for them,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net; Maram Mazen in Abuja at mmazen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net; Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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