The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has given a loan of US$150mn to the Lekki seaport project in Nigeria.

The finance is the first in a series of loans the Nigerian government hopes to negotiate with the IDB as it hopes to improve its trade-related infrastructure.

The country’s vice-president Namadi Sambo says that he hopes to borrow US$450mn from the development bank in order to boost the country’s electricity generation capacity to 20,000MW. He also encouraged the IDB to support the construction of a road linking Lagos to Abidjan, in Cote d’Ivoire.

Ahmed Mohammed Ali, the president of the IDB, reveals that his organisation has already agreed to support a further three social infrastructure projects in Nigeria: four new science secondary schools in Kaduna State worth US$17.9mn; a 300-bed specialist hospital, also in Kaduna State, worth US$43.15mn; the Zaria water supply project, worth US$81mn.

He also reveals that the IDB is set to provide finance for the construction of a trans-Saharan highway linking Chad, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia and Nigeria.

The Lekki seaport project is being completed by the Tolaram Group, an Indonesian company, and sponsored by the government. The government is hoping to attract further investment from development banks, with the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation mooted to be interested in participating.