Nigeria requires about N7.325 trillion yearly to tackle the prevailing infrastructural deficit in the country.Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, revealed this while speaking on infrastructure financing in the 2016 budget at the inaugural Xcellon Infrastructure Breakfast Series held yesterday in Abuja.
Adeosun said it was important to recall the background under which the 2016 budget was designed and running, which is emphasis on the need for infrastructure development. It is, therefore, requiring a yearly capital investment of about N7.325 trillion over the next several years for it to be closed.
“We also note that with the drastic drop in revenues from petroleum, public revenue dropped by about N5.86 trillion per annum, accordingly, the circumstances are extraordinarily challenging but, they are surmountable,” the minister said.
Represented by the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Adeosun said that government strategy for infrastructure financing in 2016 and beyond has been informed by its commitment to the goal of diversification of the economy, stressing that the core elements of the diversification drive is to rapidly stimulate real sector production, particularly agriculture and agric processing, manufacturing, solid minerals and petrochemicals. She noted that the strategic diversification programme would succeed only if there is adequate and reliable infrastructure, particularly for power supply and transportation by roads, rail and water, as well as housing.
Chairman of Xcellon Capital Advisors, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside maintained that the aim of the business round table was to create a platform for business and government interaction, crossbreeding ideas on how to fund and develop infrastructure in Nigeria.
Peterside maintained that infrastructure development should not just be hinged on finance but also about action taken in advancing policies and the need to carry along stakeholders, civil society and labour union.