By Ismaila Chafe, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari says there can be no development without peace, saying the two are complementary to each other.
The president made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja, when he received Dr Sid Ould Tah, the Director-General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development.
Recall that Buhari had on Tuesday in Nouakchott, Mauritania, received an award for Strengthening of the Peace in Africa from the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum.
The president said that the work of the Arab Bank for Economic Development “is very critical, and, indeed, a major catalyst and tool for achieving our overall objective as leaders on the continent”.
While lauding the bank for its investment in Nigeria, Buhari pointed at strides in the agricultural sector, with regard to food security systems, capacity building and integrated infrastructure project.
He said that the key focus of this administration had been security, economy and anti-Corruption, stressing that the three were critical “towards achieving our overall development objective, not just as a country but more importantly as a continent”.
The president observed that the issues that affected one nation also affected others.
He said that this had been clearly demonstrated in the fight against the tyranny of terrorists, which had spread across the entire West African sub-region and was ”beginning to emerge in our sister countries in some parts of East and Central Africa”.
Buhari noted that focus on agriculture and infrastructure allowed Nigeria to be resilient during the last two global economic and public health crises.
The president urged the bank to review the amount of capital it could inject into various economies, “as this would lead to greater impact, as we stare at the various issues that would confront our economies”.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, who had interfaced with the Arab Bank for Economic Development at its headquarters, thanked the president for ensuring improvement of security in the North-East region.
“We now get grants for livestock farming, gum Arabic production, infrastructure, and I believe Nigeria will still have more opportunities from the Arab Bank for Economic Development,” he said.
Ould Tah congratulated Buhari for his award on peace strengthening, saying it was a testimony to his efforts in promoting amity in Nigeria and Africa.
He said that the bank had a strong relationship with Nigeria and would love to do more in the areas of wheat cultivation, gum Arabic production, veterinary support services, women and youth development, among others.