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Nigeria needs $2.3tn in 30 years to tackle infrastructural deficit – Osinbajo

VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has said the only means to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country, in the face of government’s learn resources, is to embrace Public-Private Partnership arrangement in one form or the other.

Osinbajo, however, noted that this will require $2.3trn over the next 30 years.

This was made known in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, ‘Laolu Akande, titled, ‘How to access local, global funds to develop Nigeria’s infrastructure, by Osinbajo’.

According to the statement, Osinbajo spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat of the National Council on Privatisation which will among other things deliberate the proposed amendment of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999.

The statement noted that Osinbajo cited statistics from Nigerian Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 to buttress his point.

He was quoted as saying, “Nigeria will require at least $2.3 trillion over the next 30 years to bridge this gap.

“The review of budgetary allocation for capital expenditure even over the past decade will show that government resources are completely insufficient for this purpose.”

Osinbajo added that while government can take either commercial or concessionary loans for infrastructure development, that will be an additional burden on a usually considerably leveraged balance sheet.

He added, “There is a large pool of investable funds from both local and international investors for the development and maintenance of infrastructure.

“But these are only accessible where there is a business case to be made for developing public infrastructure.

“So, for both institutional and individual investors, there is far more comfort with lending or with equity participation where a private sector entity partners with a public authority owner of the infrastructure.

“This way the public partner can play its natural role of a regulator (regulation and policy), leaving business to the private sector whose reason for being is business. So, for investors, PPP presents the best of both worlds.”

While urging participants drawn from the private and public sectors at the retreat to remain focused on the objectives of the meeting, the Vice President was further reported to have emphasised that developing a framework that will be attractive to investors should be topmost in their deliberations.

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