The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has disclosed that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, in its quest to solve the infrastructure problem in the Nation, floated a N15 trillion Infrastructure Corporation and also signed an Executive order which informed the right policy framework and created enough space for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development.
The Minister made this known while delivering his remarks at the official launching and presentation of the reviewed NATIONAL INTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURE MASTER PLAN (NIIMP) 2022-2043.
Agba explained that the NIIMP was a government blue print for building a world-class infrastructure required to grow the economy, enhance the quality of life of the citizens, create jobs and improve the Nation’s global competitiveness.
He mentioned that projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, Abuja-Kaduna – Zaria Express Road, the Second Niger Bridge among others, as well as the power generation capacity increase from an average of 5,500MW in 2014 to about 13,000MW by 2020 in the energy sector, were funded through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
He however regretted the large infrastructure deficits persisting across the country despite noticeable progress which included allocation of at least 30 percent of the Federal Annual Budget to infrastructure projects since 2016, “the Reviewed National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan and the newly approved National Development Plan (2021-2025) also estimated the current Nation’s infrastructure stock to be between 30-35 percent of the GDP in 2020, far from the estimated target of 70 percent envisaged in 2043” he further explained.
The Minister informed that the estimated resource requirement of USD 2.3 trillion for the NIIMP implementation was huge and tasking, being that current yearly budgetary allocation available to fix and upgrade the Nation’s infrastructure was too insignificant when compared to the USD150 billion required yearly for the NIIMP implementation between 2020 and 2030 and as such, the Federal Government alone could not handle, hence the need for a well-coordinated and strategic approach required to harness sufficient resources that would increase the stock of Nigeria’s infrastructure to the desired level by 2043.
According to him, “besides investments by sub-national governments, the private sector is expected to play an increasing role either directly or in collaboration with the government through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) providing a supportive environment with stable and transparent policies, rules and regulations required for a robust PPP investment”
He also stated that the Federal Government was going to continue exploring external borrowing and opportunities created by other government-controlled sources like the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Pension Fund to back infrastructure delivery.
Prince Agba further assured the devotion of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to the implementation of the NIIMP in that it had established an Infrastructure Delivery Coordinating Unit within the Ministry to effectively coordinate the implementation with other stakeholders including MDAs, sub national governments, the Private sector, international donor partners among others. “In this regard, the MDAs would be required to set up Infrastructure Delivery Units to ensure effective coordination with the IDCU on infrastructure development, likewise, the sub-national governments will be required to develop States Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan in tandem with the aspirations and objectives of the NIIMP”, he added.
The Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Mr. Mike Joe A. Ohiani in his speech noted that the launching of the Master Plan was indispensable as it was going to enable stakeholders forge ahead in the National development journey in a much integrated and sustainable manner. He revealed that the ICRC had been a member of the development of NIIMP from its conception to the final production.
Mr. Ohiani said the NIIMP document was a long-term agenda for economic development which factored into strategic infrastructure investment that needed funding to make the economy vision achievable.
He then urged all relevant stakeholders to key into the master plan to strategically address the infrastructure deficit to meet the expectations of Nigeria; he as well requested for the strengthening of the infrastructure department within the Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning to enable it take responsibility for coordinating the required activities, monitoring progress and managing NIIMP implementation process competently.
Also, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed, explained that infrastructure was the backbone of economic development and as such, its development had become central to the prospect and trajectory, for the growth of any economy.
He pointed out that the plan was timely in that it came when the African Continent as a whole, was becoming integrated, resulting to the need for the Nigerian Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan to be seen as part of a wider Continental Infrastructure Master Plan, “we must spearhead the development, not only within our own borders, but also across the various, borders in order to ensure that the continent has the appropriate infrastructure because it is not going to be adequate for Nigeria to have adequate infrastructure in an environmental integrated continental market if other infrastructure developments across the various borders do not take place”, he stressed.
Engr. Ahmed, hoped that the Master Plan would make the choices for the private sector much easier, as well as make the relationship between the private sector and the public sector smooth so as to properly accelerate the process of infrastructure development.
In the same vein, the President of the Nigerian Institute of architects, Arch. Enyi Ben-Eboh said the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan 2022-2043 was expected to provide the appropriate guidance towards the objectives.
He assured that architects, with other relevant professionals, would utilize the content of the NIIMP document to create the appropriate Integrated Infrastructure Development Master Plans that would provide the right understanding and guidance to all; including the most desired investors.
He commended the Federal Government for the project and applauded the Minister of State, for Budget and National Planning, for the great initiative.