Nigeria Needs $80 Billion to Fix Infrastructure Deficit – Experts

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CEM REPORT, INFRASTRUCTURE | Nigeria needs about $80 billion in financial commitment annually over 10 years to fix its infrastructure deficit, infrastructure experts have said.

Leading infrastructure stakeholders in the Dangote Group and the Lagos State government among others, charged government at all levels to partner with the private sector to fix the ailing infrastructure by aiding business growth and economic development.

Speaking at the national workshop of the Association of Business Editors in Nigeria (ABEN), the former acting Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry (BoI), Waheed Olagunju, stated there cannot be meaningful development without investment in infrastructure, which catalyses development in all sectors of the economy.

“Nigeria needs $80 billion every year over the next 10 years to finance its infrastructure gap. And to address this, the government must partner with the private sector to  provide funding for key infrastructure projects.”

Olagunju at the event themed: ‘Infrastructure Financing as Pathway to Sustainable Economic Development,’ noted the Federal Government through the National Development Plan (2021-2025) expected the transportation industry to generate 15 percent of such funding amounting to N52 trillion of the over N300 trillion revenue target, into the economy, even as it expects 85 percent of resources to come from the private sector through a Public Private Partnership(PPP).

While urging the government on all levels to have an internationally acceptable standard and structure that financiers would be interested in, to fund developmental projects in the country he noted good ratings are critical to making Nigeria an investment hub.

“Nigeria must be an investment hub for investors. Let’s continue to market Nigeria as an investment destination, and ignore negative reporting that is negatively affecting the ratings of Nigeria as a country. Rule of law must be right to build confidence in the system.

“Our laws and constitution should not be cumbersome, should be adaptive and avoid too much bureaucracy that could distract investments. Infrastructure takes longer time between 20 to 30 years, hence, structures must be built around continuity of infrastructural projects irrespective of who is in government.”

Delivering the keynote address the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, restated the need to raise capital from all credible sources to fix infrastructure, and to also ensure that the fiscal financing structure meets international standards, such that, the private sector can finance projects without any fear of losing their money.

Egube stated that Lagos State has tried this model and found it to be working, adding that, a lot of capital projects ongoing in the state have more private sector funding input leading credence to the quality of structures the state government has, to attract financiers for its projects.

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