The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina has disclosed that Nigeria is in need of over $100 billion annually for the next 30 years to close the infrastructure deficit in the country.
Speaking as a panellist at a one day investors webinar to showcase the investment opportunities from Federal government reform and privatization, Dr Akinwumi Adesina stated that the Nigerian infrastructure deficit gap was wide.
Given the huge amounts needed which is about $100bn annually for the next 30 years, he said the time has come to create an enabling environment for Public-Private Partnerships to close Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
Adesina who was represented by the Director-General, AfDB Group, Nigeria Country Department, Mr Lamin Barrow, noted that this is why the “AfDB is supporting the government’s efforts in addressing the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria through the development of both national and regional infrastructure.”
Adesina said the sum of “$256m and $200m financing respectively for the Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP-1) and the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) will contribute to the strengthening of the transmission network and promote off-grid solutions.”
In the transport sector, he explained that the bank’s $430m support for the Enugu-Bamenda Road linking Nigeria and Cameroun, expected to be completed this year, will provide a gateway for enhanced trade between West Africa and Central Africa.
“We are working closely with the ECOWAS Commission and the concerned countries to finalize the feasibility studies for the landmark Abidjan-Lagos Highway.
“We expect the construction of the corridor to commence next year. This highway will link 85 per cent of the trade volumes in ECOWAS.
“We also supporting the rollout of new flagship programs such as the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) and Nigeria Innovation Program (Digital Nigeria) to unleash the potential of the economy. These will be complemented by enhanced policy dialogue with a view to consolidating Nigeria’s strategic position as the bulwark for the regional economy,” he stated.
The DG said that attracting private sector participation is critical for mobilizing investment resources and ensuring sustainable operation and maintenance of public infrastructure assets.
He advised the government to put in place adequate regulatory frameworks to treat infrastructure as an asset class and view privatisation as an opportunity to optimize underperforming assets.
“Privatisation and commercialisation of public enterprises should therefore be more than just a transaction but an institutionalized mechanism with a long-term perspective.
“They represent a new way of life/doing business to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, an inclusive society, and as tools for building dynamic and competitive economies.”
Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit is one of the main constraints to industrial development and national competitiveness.