The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has reiterated its commitment to continue to mobilise emergency support to help in addressing the ongoing humanitarian situation in North East Nigeria.
Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, the organisation’s Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, made the statement after leading an inter-agency OIC delegation that paid a five-day visit to Nigeria from 17-21 July 2016.
The objective of the visit was to assess the humanitarian needs of Nigeria, in the wake of the dire humanitarian conditions consequent to the terrorist activities of the Boko Haram militants and to explore ways and means of scaling up intra-OIC support for the multitude of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the affected North Eastern parts of Nigeria.
The visit was in line with the commitment made by OIC Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani during his audience with President Muhammadu Buhari in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on 25 February 2016.
During the visit to Nigeria the OIC delegation reviewed the current level of cooperation between Nigeria and OIC, ranging from development, accession to OIC instruments and other outstanding areas of joint collaboration.
In their deliberations with various Nigerian Authorities, the delegation presented an expose of the various on-going and proposed humanitarian and development responses of the OIC in both the North East and other parts of Nigeria.
On its part, one of the OIC’s specialized institutions – the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group – confirmed the on-going execution of a Bi-lingual Education Programme in 9 states of Nigeria, including the affected North Eastern States of Gombe, Borno and Adamawa, totaling US$98.07 million.
The IDB has also successfully completed an Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Project in Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe and similar projects are under formulation in the Northeast in the context of the Government’s diversification agenda through agriculture.
Under its “Lives and Livelihoods Fund”, the IDB along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide project and micro financing facilities for agricultural and rural development and food security for North East, through the pastoral livestock system, family enterprises and inputs and output markets for crops.
The foregoing is in addition to the Bank’s integrated rural development and water supply and sanitation projects in Jigawa, Illesa and Zaria.
Similar development projects in Nigeria were showcased during the visit, including some of the IDB’s Work Program for 2016. They are: Dualisation of Bida-Mina Road, Niger State; Rehabilitation of Abakaliki Road, Ebonyi State; and PPP for the Second Niger Bridge.
The proposed actions by Islamic, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ISESCO another OIC specialized institution represented on the delegation, include Support for Modernisation of Traditional Education in Nigeria; a Training Programme on the Management of Income-Generating Small Businesses for Women in Northern Nigeria and Regional Expert Meeting on Mapping Agriculture, Livelihood and Initiative for Food Security among others.
On its part, the Humanitarian Department of the OIC General Secretariat emphasized the desire to acquire sufficient data on the humanitarian situation in North East, while impressing on the appropriate Nigerian Authorities to allow access to the various camps for delivery of humanitarian assistance by the various member-organizations of the OIC Consultative Humanitarian Group.
During the visit, the delegation received first-hand information on the humanitarian and post-recovery needs assessment of Nigeria, following its audiences with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on IDPs, and Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).The delegation secured the commitment of the appropriate Nigerian Authorities to remove obstacles facing shipment of humanitarian supplies to Nigeria as well as access to IDP camps by partner organisations.
The team also had audiences with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Science and Technology; and Agriculture and Rural Development among others.
Members of the inter-agency OIC delegation include Dr. Mahmoud Y. Compaore, of OIC Department of Political Affairs, Mr. Abdoulaye Kebe, of the OIC Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Abdallah M. Kiliaki and Mr. Nasir S. Ingawa of IDB Group Country Gateway Office, Abuja, Nigeria and Dr. Abdul Aziz Yaouba, Program Specialist, ISESCO.