The D-8 bloc has resolved to establish industrial park and work to have a common monetary instrument to fast track development and standard of living of citizens in the country.
The Secretary-General of D-8, Amb. Dato’ Ku Jafafar Ku Shaari, said the bloc made up of Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malysia, Parkistan and Turkey was for economic cooperation.
He said D-8 was formed through the Istanbul Declaration of summit of Heads of State/ Government on June 15, 1997.
Ku Shaari spoke about the programmes when he led a delegation from the organisation to visit the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Monday in Abuja.
“We are now talking about establishing industrial park to start with the civil aviation park; we are to visit all member states to explain the way forward in this area.
“Pakistan has agreed to come up with an idea on that; we will establish the park and they will share the technology with member states.
“So we are coming here to ask for the support from Nigeria for us to look at industrial zone to develop, if there is existing one or a new zone that can be turned into a industrial park,” he said.
He said that the organisation was looking forward to private partnership from Nigeria through which it could hopefully embark on something solid in the area.
“We have a very good collaboration among member states; we are looking at private sector participation to develop this sector.
“We are looking at member states to have D-8 designated airports to provide facilities and connectivity between people to people and business to business.
“We are also looking at the future where we will have D-8 Association Airport, this is aimed at enhancing trading, exports, tourism among member states,” he said.
He said that other initiative being looked at by the organisation include D-8 Credit Card aimed at enhancing transaction among member states
“We are working towards creating what we call D8 Payment Card which is the same as master card; we are also looking at the possibility of using the local content in this area.
“It is unique, it will provide a platform for repatriation of fund by member states; we are trying to encourage D-8 to start saving through their national banks.
“We also have initiative in the education sector; we have established D-8 international university that will take off in 2019; we are focusing on science and technology and innovation.”
He said that three Nigerian universities are part D-8 network institutions, through which they could connect with other universities for research and technology.
“I am happy that three Nigeria universities are part of the D-8 network initiative; these are University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and University of Ibadan.
“These institutions will be able to connect all the member states universities for research and development programmes,” he said.
The minister commended the organisation for the initiative which he said would be of help to member states.
He pledged the support of the Federal Government to the D-8 initiatives which he said would be beneficial to member countries.
“The industrial park is what we have and we are working on.
“Trading among the D-8 is very interesting; it is something that we all aspire to have,” he said.
Onyeama said that the initiative on education; research and technology development would enhance the development of the developing countries and member states
The minister called on the D-8 to consider and work on some of challenges that might impede the achievement of its goal, especially in the area of trade and clearing houses in the financial goal.
He, however, charged the organisation to factor in the issue of access and affordability in its monetary instrument and other initiatives. (NAN)