Economic experts in the country’s infrastructure field said yesterday that Nigeria needs about $80 billion in financial commitments a year over 10 years to close its infrastructure gap.
Speaking at the Association of Business Editors in Nigeria (ABEN) National Workshop on “Infrastructure Financing as a Pathway to Sustainable Economic Development”, key players in the infrastructure of the Dangote Group and the Lagos State Government, among others, have tasked government at all levels to partner with the private sector to repair ailing infrastructure purchase by aiding business growth and economic development.
Speaking on the subject, the former Managing Director/Acting CEO of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Dr Waheed Olagunju, said that there can be no meaningful development without investment in infrastructure, which catalyses development in all sectors of the economy.
According to him, “Nigeria needs $80 billion every year for the next 10 years to fund its infrastructure deficit. And to solve this problem, the government must partner with the private sector to finance key infrastructure projects.
Olagunju, who was also the president of the occasion, said, realizing how critical infrastructure such as road and rail transport as well as the maritime and air sectors are, the federal government, through the National Development Plan (2021-2025), expected the transport industry to generate 15% of this funding, or 52 trillion naira of the over 300 trillion revenue target, in the economy, even then that it expects 85% of the resources to come from the private sector through a public-private partnership (PPP).
While advocating for inclusive growth and sustainable development, the former BoI boss said good ratings are key to making Nigeria a center for investment, urging the government to have a standard and an internationally acceptable structure that would interest financiers to finance development projects. in the country.
“Nigeria must be an investment hub for investors. Let’s continue to market Nigeria as an investment destination, let’s ignore negative reports that negatively affect Nigeria’s ratings as a country. The rule of law must be fair to build trust in the system.
Our laws and constitution should not be cumbersome, should be adaptive and avoid too much bureaucracy that could distract from investment. Infrastructure takes longer between 20 and 30 years, therefore, structures must be built around the continuity of infrastructure projects, regardless of the government,” he stressed.
During a presentation at the event, the Dangote Group, co-sponsor of the workshop, promised to play a greater role in the coming years to support the public-private partnership that will lead to the improvement of the country’s infrastructure space.
Delivering a keynote address at the event, the Lagos State Economic Planning and Budget Commissioner, Mr. Sam Egube, reiterated the need to raise capital from all credible sources to repair infrastructure and to also ensure that the budget financing structure meets international standards, so that the private sector can finance projects without fear of losing its money.
Egube said Lagos State has tried this model and found it to work, adding that many ongoing investment projects in the state are getting more funding from the private sector, giving credence to the quality of the structures available to the state government to attract financiers. his projects.
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