By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said on Monday that the Nigeria’s aspiration and infrastructure target for 30 years (2014-2043) is aimed at increasing the current infrastructure stock from 30% of the GDP to at least 70% by the year 2043.
Speaking at the One-Day Workshop on Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) of Infrastructure in Nigeria organised by the World Bank Group in Abuja the minister stated: “It is estimated that $3 trillion infrastructure investment would be needed for the next 30 years, and provides the framework that will guide interventions, investments, as well as budgetary allocations to the sector for the period.
“Nigeria requires an estimated sum of $3 trillion to bridge its infrastructure gap over a 30-year period. This amount to roughly $100 billion per year, with a total federal budget of less than $30 billion for 2019 and the dependency of Nigeria’s income on oil revenue with unpredictable global price fluctuation, Nigeria no doubt, lacks the fiscal space to self-finance the required infrastructure investment”, she added.
Ahmed pointed out that despite all the comparative advantages in natural and human resources, Nigeria’s ability to fully actualise its economic growth potential is repressed by the country’s huge infrastructure gap.
Recalled that it was in an effort to address the issue that the Nigeria’s National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) was approved in 2014 as a policy document which was designed to provide the roadmap for building a world class infrastructure that would guarantee sustainable economic growth and development.
Giving an overview of Nigeria’s infrastructure gap, the Minister said that the Nigeria core infrastructure stock is currently estimated at 30% of the GDP which falls far short of the international benchmark of 70%.
According to her the effect of weak infrastructure, “is most striking in the energy and transportation sector. The two sectors, according to her, are key to national and economic development due to their multiplier effect across all sectors of the economy”.
In her words: “Nigeria has an average electricity consumption per inhabitant of 150kwh (kilowatt/hour) as against over 3000kwh world average (WBG). The current power generation of less than 10GW (Gigawatt) is less than half of the projected 20GW of generation capacity by 2018 which is expected to be increased to 350GW by 2043. To achieve this target, an excess of 10GW of generation capacity is expected to be added every year for the 30 years’ period of NIIMP (2014-2043)”.
Ahmed noted that the Nigerian transportation sector dominated by the road network as the pillar of economic development in the country, adding that, in terms of road network, Nigeria is ahead of the West African average, but behind the international and the Britain, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) benchmarks.
“Looking at the individual sectors the largest investment needs are in energy and transport, which represent more than 50% of the required infrastructure investment”, she said further.
Considering the financing plan with the infrastructure gap in mind, the Minister stated that the investment is planned to be financed through both public and private sector participation.
“The private sector is expected to cater for about 48% of the investments which will account for assets that are fully owned and financed by the private sector itself. The remaining 52% of the required investment is expected to be financed from a combination of public and private sector for the first phase of the implementation.
“The private sector is expected to play a key role in providing critical infrastructure, either directly through privatization or in collaboration with the Government under public private partnership (PPP) arrangements,” she said.
According to her, there are four primary financing options namely, Governments budgets; public debt; other public sources (e.g. Sovereign Wealth Fund, Public Pension Fund); and PPPs, available for financing the investments.
In addition to already committed private sector investments, she said government is strategically considering how much, on project-by-project basis, to leverage from the primary financing options to ensure optimal risk allocation.
The minister who commended the effort of the World Bank Group for the timely intervention on infrastructure development, said the Federal Government has created an Infrastructure Project Development Facility to finance early project development activities so as to create a pipeline of bankable PPP projects, establish a dedicated cash backed fund (Government Resource Fund) outside the annul budgetary allocation process to finance the government’s contributions on infrastructure involving the private sector.
We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.
Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.
According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.
She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.
“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.
“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.And I can tell you that they are not leaving.
“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.
Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.
She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)
Nigerian Breweries Records N106bn Loss in 2023
Nigerian Breweries Plc has recorded a net loss of N106 billion for the year ended 2023, as against N13.93 billion posted in its 2022 financials, indicating 860 per cent loss.
Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries stated this in the audited financial result of the company for the year ended 2023 sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.
Agbebaku said the gross profit of the company for the year under review also fell by 0.3 percent to N212.5 billion, compared to N213.20 billion posted in the previous year.
He stated that the operating profit of the company declined by 15.
The company secretary said that the firm recorded loss in its operating profit due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation cost despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures.
According to him, the company however was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent to N599 billion, compared to N551 billion posted in the previous year, which was aided by positive price mix.
Agbebaku stated that the Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023, with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide.
He explained that the Naira notes redesign which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.
Agbebaku said: “High double-digit inflation rates with food inflation at more than 30 per cent and removal of subsidy on fuel.
“Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.
“In a difficult operating environment, the Board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years’ experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities.
He said the company would continue to be resilient and forward-thinking, leveraging on its broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.(NAN)
NDLEA Tincan Command Intercepted 876.453kg Illicit Drugs, others in 2023-Commander
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Tincan Special Area Command, says 876.453 kilograms of various illicit drugs and controlled substances were intercepted in 2023.
Commander Mohammed Abubakar of the command said this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
He listed the drugs as cocaine worth 24kg; Canabis – 852.
According to Abubakar, a total of 15 individuals were arrested and prosecuted during the period, out of which 10 were convicted.
He added that the feat was achieved through relentless efforts and meticulous investigation, which led to the dismantling of several drug trafficking networks and the subsequent prosecution of individuals involved.
“The Tincan special area command has been at the forefront of strategic operations in the area, targeting illicit drug smuggling activities and apprehending those responsible.
“In recent months, the efforts have culminated in multiple successful seizures and arrests, emphasising the agency’s commitment to eradicating drug-related crimes within our society.
“In one operation carried out at the Tincan port, a notable seizure of illicit drugs (Cannabis Indica also called Colorado) totalling 161.5kg was made, along with sum of 22,900 dollars offered as bribe to officers.
“The intercepted drugs, were concealed within cargo shipments of used vehicles from Montreal Canada, indicating the ingenuity of the involved drug traffickers,” he said.
Abubakar said that several investigations were conducted in collaboration with national and international law enforcement agencies, leading to the identification and apprehension of some of the key players in these drug networks.
The NDLEA boss noted that the combined efforts proved fruitful, resulting in the arrest of some of the persons directly involved in the importation, distribution, and sales of illicit drugs.
He said that throughout 2023, the command embarked on various sensitisation and enlightenment activities within and around the Tincan island port.
He listed them to include advocacy visit to all stakeholders in and around the port, public enlightenment and lectures, rallies and engagement of traditional rulers and non-governmental organisations around the port environment.
“All the activities were carried out under aegis of ‘War Against Drug Abuse’ (WADA) and was designed to reduce demand and abuse of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria.
The NDLEA Tincan special area commander appreciated stakeholders in the maritime industry, and other relevant government agencies for their unwavering support and collaborative effort in these operations.
He added that their dedication and joint action had played a crucial role in the successes achieved thus far.
He also urged all licensed Customs clearing agents to stop the practice of authorising third party individuals to clear cargo under their company stamp.
He pointed out that the practice, automatically made the company liable to any cargo cleared, using its name and stamp.
“This may become a real problem when illicit drugs are discovered and the company cannot provide any tangible information or whereabout of the owners of the cargo.
“Clearing agents have the responsibilities to not only adhere to laws but to cooperate with law enforcement agents undertaking an investigation.
“The NDLEA Tincan special area command sends a strong message to all those involved in drug trafficking and other illicit activities, we intend to use every available resource to bring them to justice and put an end to their illegal operations,” he said.
He said the command would continue to enhance their intelligence capabilities, invest in modern equipment, and provide training for its officers to combat drug trafficking effectively.
“The agency urges the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to drug trafficking to the NDLEA or relevant law enforcement agencies. Together, we can create a safer and drug-free environment for all Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)
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