How to tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit, by stakeholders
•Amaechi points way to growth
To address Nigeria’s infrastructural inadequacy, the Federal Government has been enjoined to adopt a sustainable public private partnership (PPP) model and repeal investment-stifling laws. It should also offer incentives to attract the private sector and foreign investors.
The charge was given by stakeholders, comprising local and international experts, at a one-day event tagged, “Nigeria Infrastructure Building Conference 2016” in Lagos.
The keynote speaker and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, observed that the provision of necessary infrastructure such as constant power, quality roads, efficient railways, inland waterways, security as well as communication would facilitate growth of the economy.
He said it was in realisation of this that government had decided to build a university of transportation, re-habilitate the railways, modernise the Lagos-Ibadan Kano-Kaduna, Kaduna-Abuja and Port Harcourt-Calabar rails to reduce pressure on the roads.
According to him, the government recognises the importance of the waterways, hence plans to revive them.
“Lekki seaport which would employ a large number of people is underway with its concessioning to commence this year. And the Calabar-Port Harcourt waterway transport is also being considered.
“Before now, cargoes coming into the country go back empty. But now, they return with products. Our export rate has increased and about $2.5 billion investment outlay is being set aside for Badagry, while we are also encouraging the Chinese to build seaports in Port Harcourt and Warri,” Amaechi remarked.
Later at a roundtable titled “How to light up Nigeria,” speakers charged government on alternative sources of energy, especially solar and coal.
The Special Assistant (Power) to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mukhtar Tijani, said government was embarking on renewable energy and rural electrification through a mini-grid format to decongest the national grid, adding that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had been ordered to intensify its responsibilities.
Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Dallas Peavey Junior, noted that achieving adequate power supply would require collaboration with oil majors, especially in
According to Yusuf Alonge of the (NBET), government must be in place the right framework that guarantees good returns on investments, urging metering of electricity consumers by the distribution companies.
To Mrs. Sheri Adegbenro, representative of the Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Oladele Amuda, and her organisation had enthroned a customer relationship process that ensures customers pay for exactly what they consume.
Others speakers from the aviation sector, UK Trade and Investment, Lagos Chambers of Commerce, among others stressed the imperativeness of an enabling environment for investments to troop in.