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Nigeria Joins Islamic Development Bank

Membership raises religious tension in the country.

by Obed Minchakpu
ABUJA , Nigeria , (Compass) — Nigeria has formally joined the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in spite of protests by Christian leaders, who see the move as the continuation of the Islamization of the country by Muslims. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria ’s finance minister, announced the membership of Nigeria as the 55th member of the Islamic bank on Wednesday, June 15. Christian and Muslim legislators in the lower chamber of the National Assembly adamantly opposed each other on Wednesday, May 25, while debating Nigeria ’s decision to become a member of the bank. Okonjo-Iweala said the government decided to take the membership because, “The IDB is a multilateral development financing institution which promotes economic and social development of member states.” A Muslim legislator claimed that Nigeria ’s membership in the Islamic bank will attract about $200 million to the country annually.