Sanusi charges government on incentives for local, foreign investors
Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mohammed Sanusi has advised the Federal Government to create incentives to attract local and foreign investors.
He said this in Abuja yesterday, at a two-day stakeholders workshop on Road Transportation Management and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria.Sanusi, who is also the Emir of Kano, harped on the need to radically improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria to make way for participation in the economy.
According to him, government alone cannot fund public transportation, but needs the full participation of the private sector to build efficiency.He listed the key areas as rail, maritime, air transportation and inland waterways.
The former CBN governor also urged government to create enabling environment to make investors buy into the rail sector.He said this becomes necessary because the private sector has capacity to gather the type of funds required to build and operate in the interest of the economy.
“We must encourage people to come and invest in the urban rail transportation network in Nigeria. This is how it is done in foreign countries. Rail transport de-congests the roads and creates room for cheap movement of goods and commuters.
“This has an impact on the economy because it helps people move around and integrate the rural areas with the urban centers by rail. So government has to create deliberate incentives for people to encourage them to invest in the sector,” he said.
He however warned government to be cautious in signing concessionary agreements with the private sector under Public Private Partnership (PPP), saying it needs to clearly spell out terms of engagement under such engagement.
Sanusi said, though the private sector brings in funds to build infrastructure, it does not confer ownership on them, as government remains the owner.
The Emir said a World Bank survey has shown that Nigeria has 1million square miles of land, but only 200,000 kilometers of are motor able.
This is even as 75% of the population don’t own their own cars but depend on public transportation for mobility.Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi explained that the transportation sector in the country is currently being overhauled.
He said a new department of road transport management and mass transit has been created to coordinate all road transport networks, so that no agency works at cross purpose with the other on land transport issues.
While saying that land transport mode is critical to economic development, he stressed that it is time for Nigeria to embrace cost efficient and clean methods of transportation.