Thursday, May 31, 2018 6.00PM / Proshare WebTV
Infrastructure is the cornerstone for any economy and it constitutes the bedrock for industrialization and achieving social inclusion.
For a densely populated country like Nigeria, infrastructure is critical to unlocking the economy, accelerate economic activities, create new jobs for a teeming youthful population, boost industrialization, encourage business development and boost its competitiveness amongst other nations.
Considering the huge infrastructure deficit in Nigeria, which will require trillions of naira to fund annually; the Institute of Directors of Nigeria hosted its advocacy roundtable in Lagos focusing on the topic “Filling the Infrastructure Gap”.
It brought together key players in the public and private sector space across the country, and was an opportunity to further explore ways of charting a pathway to a sustainable infrastructure investment and development strategy for Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Research and Advocacy Committee of the IOD Nigeria, Prince Dapo Adelegan in his remarks informed stakeholders that the essence of the roundtable, was to discuss the gaps in the areas of electricity, oil & gas, infrastructure funding, road construction and maintenance.
Prince Adelegan decried the fact that the profile of Nigeria as Africa’s leading economy, was being dwarfed by huge infrastructure deficits. He noted that the infrastructure deficit has hindered the capacity of the country, to attract Foreign Direct Investments that can expand the economy.
President of the Institute Alhaji Ahmed Rufa’i Mohammed in his welcome address identified inadequate supply of power as a major challenge in Nigeria’s infrastructure space.
The IOD Nigeria President lauded the creation of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority(NSIA) in 2011, with the infrastructure fund focused on sustainable investment in domestic infrastructure.
Alhaji Mohammed also commended the FG on the recent injection of $650ml of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, that will focus on Road Construction, Power and Healthcare.
Dr Femi Hamzat the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, who represented the Minister shared that the Federal Government had since 2016 improved significantly budget allocation to Power, Works and Housing as part of its commitment to infrastructure investments.
He stated that through the Power Sector Recovery Programme the FG had deployed initiatives to address the challenges in the power sector, which include; payment of ouststanding debts owed Distribution companies, the N701bn Payment Assurance Guarantee for Generating companies, the “Eligible Customer” initiative and completing key transmission stations like Azura.
In the area of Roads construction and rehabilitation, Dr Hamzat said the N100bn Sukuk bond project covering 25 A-level roads in the country, was a massive investment that will positively impact the country. For Housing he said the Ministry has developed a “National Housing Template” that will be domesticated across the states of the federation, and was currently developing housing projects in 33 States targeting the young and vulnerable Nigerians.
Dr Andrew Nevin the Chief Economist of Price Water House Coopers Nigeria in his short presentation harped on the need for Nigeria, to grow 6-7% annually to surpass its population growth rate of above 2.7%.
This according to Dr Andrew Nevin hinged on an annual N18 trillion investment in infrastructure for Nigeria, which can be achieved through attracting strategic capital. “The FG does not have enough resources for infrastructure, and a robust Public-Private Partnership model, is the way forward for tackling infrastructure deficits”-Andrew Nevin said
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Infrastructure Bank Plc Mr Adekunle Oyinloye listed the following as the way forward for improving the power sector infrastructure; Implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan component for Power, restructuring of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, resolution of the debts owed Discos by MDAs, introduction of the a cost-reflective electricity tariff regime, manufacturing of power equipment and the completion of all ongoing power projects especially in the transmission space.
There was a panel session which featured discussions on the ways to addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure with Mrs Funke Osibodu(MD, Benin Distribution Company), Mr Tunji Oyebanji ( MD/CEO 11 Plc) and Dr Andrew Nevin(Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria) as resource persons.