Nigeria Calls For Foreign Investment In Infrastructure, Says $1.5Trn Required To Bridge Gap In 10 Years

Nigeria needs $1.5trn in 10-yrs to bridge infrastructure gap ― Buhari -  Vanguard News

Yemisi Izuora

President Muhammadu Buhari, is wooing investors to consider investment plan in key sectors of the Nigeria economy which holds huge economic potentials.

The President also said the country would require a cumulative amount of $1.5 trillion over a ten-year period to achieve an appreciable level of the National Infrastructure Stock.

Buhari stated this on Tuesday in Glasgow at a COP 26 high-level side event on improving global infrastructure hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States, EU Commission President, Von Der Leyen and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari: Nigeria Needs 1.5 Trillion Dollars In Ten Years To Bridge The Infrastructure Gap.’

According to Shehu, Buhari said, “Nigeria is ready for your investments in infrastructural development in the country.

‘‘My administration has established a clear legal and regulatory framework for private financing of infrastructure to establish a standard process, especially on the monitoring and evaluation process.

‘‘We look forward to working with you in this regard,’’ he told world leaders at the high level meeting on the margins of the climate change conference.”

The statement quoted Buhari as declaring that his administration had taken infrastructure expansion in Nigeria seriously, conscious of the fact that new investments in critical sectors of the economy would aid lifting 100 million Nigerians from poverty by 2030.

‘‘There is a nexus between infrastructural development and the overall economic development of a nation,” the president was quoted as saying.

He noted that, ‘‘My administration identified this early enough as a major enabler of sustainable economic development and the realisation of other continental and global development aspirations particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

‘‘On my assumption of office in 2015, Nigeria faced a huge infrastructure deficit and the total National Infrastructure Stock was estimated at 35% of our Gross Domestic Product.

‘‘In solving these problems, we embarked on a massive infrastructure expansion programme in the areas of Health care, Education, Transportation, Manufacturing, Energy, Housing, Agriculture, and Water Resources.

‘‘We provided more financial resources for these policies, charted new international partnerships and pursued liberalization policies to allow private sector participation.

‘‘We introduced the revised National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan – a policy document that ensures our infrastructure expansion projects is cross-sectorally integrated and environmentally friendly.”

The President welcomed the G7 countries for its ground-breaking plan to mobilise hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low – and middle-income countries.

He noted that the “Build Back Better World” plan, an initiative of the G7 countries, is expected to be a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership.

‘‘It is our fervent hope and expectations that this plan will be pursued to its logical conclusion in order to bridge the infrastructural gap between the North and South,’’ he said.

The President also used the occasion to outline the principles, values and standards Nigeria would like to see from infrastructure initiatives and the challenges the country has faced in partnering with donors on infrastructure development.

‘‘The aim of pursuing quality infrastructure investment is to maximise the positive economic, environmental, social, and development impact of infrastructure and create a virtuous circle of economic activities, while ensuring sound public finances.

‘‘This virtuous circle can take various forms in stimulating the economy,” he said.

The President further noted that infrastructure investment should, therefore, take into account economic, environmental and social, and governance aspects, guided by a sense of shared, long-term responsibility for the planet, consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The President added that the positive and negative impacts of infrastructure projects on ecosystems, biodiversity, climate, weather and the use of resources should be internalised by incorporating these environmental considerations over the entire process of infrastructure investment.

“Domestic resource mobilisation is critical to addressing the infrastructure financing gap. Assistance for capacity building, including for project preparation, should be provided to developing countries with the participation of international organisations.

‘‘Quality infrastructure investment also needs to be tailored to individual country conditions and consistent with local laws and regulations.

‘‘Furthermore, Infrastructure projects should align with national strategies and nationally determined contributions for those countries determined to implement them, and with transitioning to long-term low emissions strategies, while being mindful of country circumstances,’’ he said.

He also called for the environmental impact of infrastructure investment to be made transparent to all stakeholders, noting that this will enhance the appreciation of sustainable infrastructure projects and increase awareness of related risks.

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