The plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set up a N15 trillion infrastructure development company is yet another creative initiative by the President Muhámmadu Buhari administration to address the country’s historical infrastructural deficit.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, described it as a revolutionary move that is certain to yield massive results.
“We are elated to hear another ‘unNigerian’ initiative by the CBN to establish a company to be co-owned by the Bank, the African Finance Corporation (AFC), and the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSIA) and which has the responsibility to raise and use local and international funding to rebuild critical infrastructure in the country.
“It is a clearly laudable step which we see as the product of a creative and thinking government that is very keen on bridging years of infrastructure deficit that preceding administrations bequeathed as an infamous legacy.
“We also view it in the light of the promise by the Buhari administration to ensure that the era of abandoned projects is over by putting in place a template for continuous funding for critical infrastructure.
“The fact that there is a contemplation to insulate it from bureaucracy is a major plus since the company is expected to be managed by an independent infrastructure fund manager.
‘We invite Nigerians to note that the company is expected to mobilize local and foreign capital to support the Federal Government in building, among others, the transport infrastructure required to move agriculture and other products to processors, raw materials to factories, and finished goods to markets”, the group said.
BMO added that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit today is too huge for the government alone to foot the entire bill.
“We are aware that a recent McKinsey study showed that the country’s infrastructure requires an annual investment of about $30 bn over the next ten years, and the Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed once suggested that Nigeria may require about N36tn annually for the next 30 years to effectively tackle its infrastructure challenge, so nothing short of a revolutionary approach outside of budgetary allocation would be needed to bridge the gap.
“Nigerians have seen how the Buhari administration has adopted a government-to-government model to address infrastructure challenges in the power sector and this is yet another revolutionary approach to improve Nigeria’s infrastructure.
“It goes without saying that a much-improved power sector and the completion of road and rail projects dotting the landscape and connecting economic centres across the geo-political zones will create a multiplier effect on jobs and lead to economic growth.
“This is clearly the end game of initiatives such as the infrastructure development company mooted by the Buhari administration which is obviously not prepared to rest on its oars in spite of what it has done to improve on the infrastructure it met on assuming office in 2015”.
The group also reassured Nigerians that President Buhari will not renege on his pledge to leave Nigeria better than he met it.