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Nigeria's infrastructural development to gulp $350bn - AfDB

By The Citizen
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A consultant to the African Development Bank, Dr Russell Cheetham, has said the full implementation of the Federal Government Infrastructure Action Plan would require $350bn in10 years.

Cheetham said this on Tuesday in Abuja while presenting a report on closing the infrastructure gap and accelerating economic transformation by the AfDB.

He said that there was need for special analysis by government to identify areas of need across the country.

'Full implementation of the proposed IAP would require $350bn of development expenditure during 2011 and 2020.

'At $350bn, the development cost of the IAP is larger than any previously published estimate for overcoming the infrastructure gap in Nigeria.

'About $15bn will be required for capacity building and technical studies that support the design and implementation of the programme.''

According to him, capital expenditure includes about $285bn for rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and construction of new facilities to meet existing and future demand.

He said that additional $50bn would be required for investment in transport fleet of the country, including aircraft, tankers for transportation of LNG, locomotives and rolling stock for the railways.

The consultant said that there was the need for enlarged bus fleets required to meet the projected 45 per cent increase in the urban population of the country between 2011 and 2020.

He advised that government must ensure maintenance structure was kept in to the process to avoid waste of investment.

He said, 'Suppose we do spend the $350bn to rebuild and expand the infrastructure base of the country, the problem is that it must be well maintained.

'If it is not well maintained, the fear is that the asset will deteriorate just like it did in the last 30 years because of lack of maintenance.

'So you spend 350 dollars and you don't maintain, then 10 years later you will not lose 350 dollars alone, but you go on to rebuild.''

Cheetham said that expenditure on rehabilitation would be in the ratio of four dollars to every dollar on maintenance.

He said that funding of the infrastructure would come from government, private sector, Sovereign Wealth fund, state enterprises, donor organisation and households, among others.

The consultant also expressed optimism that the report  aligned with the vision of the government.

He said that the report looked at the various sectors which include roads, ports, aviation, rail, gas pipe line transport and urban transportation.

Others, he said, were electric power, rural energy, human resource management and irrigation, among others.

The AfDB Resident Representative, Mr. Ousmane Dore,  said that the aim of the report was to take stock of the infrastructure gap in the country.

He added, 'This report has clearly highlighted the fact that there is huge gap.

'If you look at the support in Nigeria, it's about infrastructure we have in water, road and power and all those  have already positioned AfDB to be the main provider of infrastructure on the continent, particularly here in Nigeria.''

Dore said that the donor organisations' contribution in closing the gap was two per cent, adding that effort must be made to use the little contribution to impact effectively.

He called for the building of capacity and skills to meet the complex arrangement in public-private partnership to enable the country to meet its objectives