‘FG needs N3 trillion to bridge infrastructure gap’
The Federal Government needs N3 trillion annually to cover up the huge infrastructure deficit in the country.The President of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mercy Iyortyer, disclosed this at a two-day workshop on finance and development of capital projects in Lagos.
She noted that while the demand for construction is high, and that the money to fund the demand is dwindling, infrastructure deficit will be recorded in Nigeria’s history as one of its most urgent concerns and her ability to deal with this challenge will no doubt define her future economic trajectory.
According to her, it is imperative to turn the attention of the Federal Government to project finance options as a way to develop Nigeria’s infrastructure projects.She said: “Traditionally, the Nigerian government at all levels have financed the construction of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, power plants, airports, railways, ports and the like from their fiscal budgets, with little or no support from the private sector.’’
She said this approach of project financing is unsustainable given the present economic pressures.She explained that there is the need for the private sector to become involved in the creation of financing solutions to develop Nigeria’s frail infrastructure.
Considering the fact that Nigerian commercial banks are majorly short-term lenders and not suitable for long term investment projects, it is crucial that alternative sources of investments with larger and more patient pools of capital are incentivized to participate in infrastructure financing.
However, in order to take steps towards acquiring expertise in capital project finance and development, she said such set of core skills and competencies have to be broadened significantly