The cumulative sum of capital investment needed to bridge the huge infrastructures deficits in Nigeria over 10 years period demands about $1.5trillion (N656.67trn) President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President who said Nigeria needs the sum over 10 years to achieve an appreciable level of the National Infrastructure Stock, said the aim of pursuing quality infrastructure investment is to maximise the positive economic, environmental, and social development.
Using the official Forex Exchange Rate of N411 to a dollar (N411/$1) as at the time of filing this report on Tuesday, the cumulative of the quoted amount $1.5trn) translates to N656.67trn.
The sum (N656.67trn) as observed by Nigerian NewsDirect was over 40 times higher than the N16.39trn proposed 2022 budget, and about 123 times the N5.35trn earmarked for capital expenditure for infrastructure in the proposed 2022 budget.
According to the proposed 2022 appropriation bill, a sum of N5.35trn capital representing 32.7 percent of the entire budget was earmarked for infrastructure.
According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari announced in Glasgow at a COP26 high-level side event that $1.5trn would be needed to improve global infrastructure.
The event is being hosted jointly by President Joe Biden of the United States, EU Commission President, Von Der Leyen, and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Buhari noted that there is a nexus between infrastructural development and the overall economic development of a nation. He lamented that upon assumption of office in 2015, Nigeria faced a huge infrastructure deficit and the total National Infrastructure Stock was estimated at 35% of the Country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The statement quoted the President to have said, ‘‘Nigeria is ready for your investment in infrastructural development in the country.
“My administration has established a clear legal and regulatory framework for private financing of infrastructure to establish a standard process, especially on the monitoring and evaluation process.
“We look forward to working with you in this regard.”
President Buhari also declared that his administration had taken infrastructure expansion in Nigeria seriously, conscious of the fact that new investments in critical sectors of the economy would aid in lifting 100 million Nigerians from poverty by 2030.
“There is a nexus between infrastructural development and the overall economic development of a nation.
“My administration identified this early enough as a major enabler of sustainable economic development and the realisation of other continental and global development aspirations particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
“On my assumption of office in 2015, Nigeria faced a huge infrastructure deficit and the total National Infrastructure Stock was estimated at 35% of our Gross Domestic Product.
“In solving these problems, we embarked on a massive infrastructure expansion program in the areas of Health care, Education, Transportation, Manufacturing, Energy, Housing, Agriculture, and Water Resources.
“We provided more financial resources for these policies, charted new international partnerships, and pursued liberalization policies to allow private sector participation.
“We introduced the revised National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan – a policy document that ensures our infrastructure expansion projects is cross-sectorally integrated and environmentally friendly,” he said.
At the high-level meeting on the margins of the climate change conference, he welcomed the G7 countries for their ground-breaking plan to mobilise hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low – and middle-income countries.
The President noted that the “Build Back Better World” plan, an initiative of the G7 countries, is expected to be a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership.
“It is our fervent hope and expectations that this plan will be pursued to its logical conclusion to bridge the infrastructural gap between the North and South,” he said.
Outlining the principles, values, and standards Nigeria would like to see from infrastructure initiatives and the challenges the Country has faced in partnering with donors on infrastructure development, he said, “The aim of pursuing quality infrastructure investment is to maximise the positive economic, environmental, social, and development impact of infrastructure and create a virtuous circle of economic activities while ensuring sound public finances.
“This virtuous circle can take various forms in stimulating the economy.”
Buhari submitted that infrastructure investment should, therefore, take into account economic, environmental, social, and governance aspects, guided by a sense of shared, long-term responsibility for the planet, consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He further stated that the positive and negative impacts of infrastructure projects on ecosystems, biodiversity, climate, weather, and the use of resources should be internalised by incorporating these environmental considerations over the entire process of infrastructure investment.
He said, “Domestic resource mobilisation is critical to addressing the infrastructure financing gap. Assistance for capacity building, including for project preparation, should be provided to developing Countries with the participation of international organisations.
“Quality infrastructure investment also needs to be tailored to individual Country conditions and consistent with local laws and regulations.
“Furthermore, Infrastructure projects should align with national strategies and nationally determined contributions for those Countries determined to implement them, and with transitioning to long-term low emissions strategies, while being mindful of country circumstances.”
Buhari called for the environmental impact of infrastructure investment to be made transparent to all stakeholders, noting that this will enhance the appreciation of sustainable infrastructure projects and increase awareness of related risks.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday joined other World Leaders including American President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amongst others at the Launch of the Global Methane Pledge hosted by the United States of America.
The event was on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Earlier, President Buhari had told delegates at the climate conference that the outcome of the conference must result in a quick resolution of all outstanding issues pertaining to the finalisation of the Paris Agreement rule book, adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage.
Speaking to the delegates on the second day of the World Leaders Summit, President Buhari said attaining national and global climate change goals will require adequate and sustained technical and financial support to developing countries.
The meeting will focus on how countries will cut emissions by 2030 and limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.