Abuja — Nigeria may become the regional operational hub of the 43-year old Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Africa, as the development finance institution is considering a proposal to expand its existing country gateway office in Abuja, to serve as a key regional office.
The office, which was opened by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, earlier in the year, will coordinate the operations of the Bank in its West and Central African member-countries, which constitute a majority of the 27 African countries in the Institution.
The Abuja gateway office will serve Nigeria, Gabon, Niger, Mozambique, Barkina Faso, the Republic of Cameroon, Uganda, Senegal, Djibouti and Guinea Bisaau, among others, according to a statement by the Director of Information on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Salisu Dambatta who is with the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Dr. Isa Dutse in Saudi Arabia for the IsDB cooperation meeting.
The statement further explained that the plan was part of a five-year reform package unfolded by the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Bandar Mohammed Hajjar, at the opening ceremony of the 42nd meeting of the bank in Jeddah last week.
He said that decentralization by opening of regional offices would take the Bank closer to member countries to enhance communication, improve its efficiency and performance in its operations.
"We have completed an extensive study of decentralisation that included field visits to some development institutions that applied this approach to maximise benefits and avoid draw-backs. Greater powers would be devolved on regional offices to support them with specialised staff and the transfer there of many operations from the main centre," he said.
The President of the IsDB explained that the Bank would enhance the development impact of its projects and programmes through comprehensive development solutions that integrate services and products in its member-countries.