The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, has reiterated its commitment to step up emergency support for people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in North East Nigeria.
Hameed Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the OIC, who had led a delegation that paid a five-day visit to Nigeria in July, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
He said the aim of the visit was to assess the humanitarian needs of Nigeria, in the wake of the Boko Haram crisis and to explore ways and means of scaling up support for the multitude of Internally Displaced Persons in the region.
Opeloyeru said that the visit was in line with the commitment made by the OIC Secretary General, Iyad Madani during his audience with President Muhammadu Buhari in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in February.
During the visit to Nigeria the OIC delegation presented an expose of the on-going and proposed humanitarian and development responses of the organisation in the North East and other parts of Nigeria.
Opeloyeru stated that the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, an arm of the OIC, has successfully completed an Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Project in Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe, adding that similar projects are under formulation in line with the diversification agenda of the country.
He also revealed that the IDB will launch a “Lives and Livelihoods Fund”, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will provide project and micro financing facilities for agricultural and food security in the North East.
Similar development projects in Nigeria as showcased during the IOC visit, include: the Dualisation of Bida-Mina Road, Niger State; Rehabilitation of Abakaliki Road, Ebonyi State; and Public Private Partnership for the Second Niger Bridge.
Opeloyeru stated that the Islamic, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, ISESCO, another arm of the OIC, intends to roll out developmental programmes for the benefit of Nigerians in the Northeast.
They 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 OIC delegation held audiences with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais, and Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi.
The team also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama as well as representatives from the Ministries of Science and Technology and Agriculture and Rural Development among others.