The federal government says it is expecting over 80 billion dollars as direct private investment in infrastructure between 2014 and 2018.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Aliboh Lawrence, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the Public-Private Dialogue on Infrastructure Financing in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Summit Group (NIPPPSG).
Lawrence, represented by Nurudeen Lawal, Director, Infrastructure, said the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), envisaged an increase in participation of the private sector.
“Government is also expected to leverage on up to 25 billion dollars through infrastructure Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) during the same period.
“Achieving these investment targets will require properly designed and well managed private sector engagement.’’
The Chairman, NIPPPSG, Abubakar Mahmoud, said the group recognised the need to engage the private sector in infrastructure delivery in Nigeria.
Mr. Mahmoud, who was represented by Bello Abdullahi, said the dialogue was organised to identify efficient ways for the public and private sectors to work together to deliver infrastructure to Nigerians.
It would also identify and address the political, legal and institutional barriers to creating bankable infrastructure projects and channel private sector finance and expertise towards successful development.
He added that other things the dialogue would do was the delivery of PPP projects in transparent and accountable manners.
The Acting Chairman, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, said Nigeria’s power generation target should be 180,000 megawatts to really meet the electricity needs of the population.
Mr. Izuwah, who was one of the panelists at the dialogue, said energy should be generated based on the population, adding that the recommendation for power generation was one megawatt to 1000 people.
“If we are about 180 million in Nigeria, then power generation should be 180,000 megawatts,’’ he said.
He said the biggest challenge Nigeria faced with infrastructure was commitment from both the public and private sectors.
He said for Nigeria to have infrastructure development, its reforms and legislation must be geared towards it, adding that it could also look at what other countries have and copy it.
Mr. Izuwah said for projects to be bankable, the government would have to de-risk them so that private investors could come in to own them.
“Do we have a stable regulatory environment; do we have exchange rate stability and a stable economy?’’ he asked.
He said infrastructure was very critical to the economy and that all sectors of the economy must play active roles to move the nation forward.
He, however, assured that the ICRC would do all that was legal to ensure that Nigerians got the infrastructure it needed.
The Managing Director, The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), Adekunle Oyinloye, said bankability of PPP projects depended also on policies available on the projects.
He said many policies and agencies of government that handled PPP projects were not coordinated, thereby giving room for investors to back out at the slightest frustration.
He said the policies and agencies should be streamlined to give the nation a focus on what was being done per time and how investors could go about their investments.
Other participants at the dialogue said investors were concerned about political climate and messages, adding that the political class should be mindful of what they said as their sentiments could push investors away.
They also said political will was very essential to ensure that projects were implemented in an orderly and timely fashion.
They also said the nation must understand that there was an infrastructure crisis already, suggesting that it must act with urgency because inability to act would result in an infrastructure problem for the coming generations.
The dialogue would be followed up with concrete consultative and joint planning measures to create sector road-maps to get public and private actors to commit human.
Others are financial resources to enable implementation and successful delivery of infrastructure projects.