Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said the country needs N35 trillion worth of investment in infrastructure to achieve double-digit economic growth.

The Central Bank governor who stated this on Thursday at a webinar tagged “Financing Public-Private Partnership to Boost Infrastructure Delivery in Nigeria,” organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), noted however, that it will be difficult to support these investments using government funds alone, so partnerships are needed.

The CBN governor, represented by Kingsley Obiora, deputy governor in charge of economic policy, declared that with the paucity of government revenues, it will be difficult to support such investments using government funds alone.

In February, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of a N1 trillion infrastructure company (Infra-Co) to focus on critical infrastructural investments.

The initial seed capital for the entity will come from the CBN, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, and the Africa Finance Corporation.

According to Emefiele, “If we take into account Nigeria’s Infrastructure Masterplan, we require close to N35 trillion worth of investment to attain double-digit growth. But given the paucity of government revenue, which the BPE director-general mentioned earlier, it will be difficult to support these investments using government funds alone, so we need partnerships,” he said.

“So, finding ways to harness public-private partnerships have become very important, and we are happy to acknowledge that these partnerships have started in earnest and the Central Bank of Nigeria looks forward to continuing collaboration with the BPE to harness these partnerships to ensure that we significantly scale up investment in our infrastructure.”

Emefiele noted that various interventions by the monetary and fiscal authorities led to Nigeria exiting recession with muted growth.

In the first quarter, Nigeria’s economy recorded a 0.51 percent growth, from 0.11 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“While this news is positive, growth is still well below our population growth of 2.7 per cent. It is therefore imperative that we all work together to harness the growth potential of the Nigerian economy.”

In her keynote address, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, said federal allocations show government resources are inadequate to bridge infrastructural gap.

“So we are looking at public collaborations. One of such viable options is the adoption of PPP arrangements to unlock the huge benefit it can afford.

“In addition, from the 2021/2022 budget cycle, all infrastructure projects in Nigeria must be screened for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) suitability and compliance with the National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan by her ministry and the BPE before inclusion in national budgets and subsequent procurement.”

Ahmed said the federal government is willing to discuss and hear suggestions from stakeholders to strengthen Nigeria’s PPP framework.

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