Tax relief, Islamic banking not enough for infrastructure in Nigeria, says Fashola
The Federal Government is to utilise Infrastructure Bond Investment from finance institutions and investors to fast-track road/bridge projects development across the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this on Tuesday, while receiving institutional investors from HSBC, China Group 3 and 4, led by the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC, Dr. Damola Sogunle, in his office.
Fashola explained that to finance road/bridge projects through tax relief and Islamic banking “Sukuk”, cannot be enough to provide infrastructure development in Nigeria, adding that Infrastructure Bond Instrument will complement government’s efforts at providing the needed critical infrastructure to end users.
Fashola stressed the need for a reset in Nigeria’s housing sector, saying the “financial establishment must stand as the vanguard of the reset,” by borrowing a leaf from countries that had successfully utilised similar investment practices, such as the United Kingdom.
He said the Pilot Home for the National Housing Programme of the present administration has taken off in 33 states of the federation, which is made up of one to three bedrooms model, expected to be valued accordingly, considering the standard and infrastructure.
The Minister further disclosed that the Federal Government is currently holding 40 per cent equity in the power sector, adding that privatisation is logical, and has been successful in the media, banking, and aviation sectors amongst others.
According to him, the Ministry will optimise existing capacity even as government has approved distribution extension programme in power.
He admonished investors in the power sector to bring in value by looking at areas where investment is actually required; saying that supply of meters will improve service delivery and end-users’ confidence in the DISCOs.
Earlier, Sogunle explained that the investors were interested in financing projects that will impact positively on infrastructure, adding that the visit would enable them have information and good understanding of what is happening in the Ministry, and Nigeria at large, in order to make proper investment decision.