The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that it will assist the Nigerian government to bridge its infrastructure gap estimated to cost about $3trillion in the next 26 years.
The Senior Director, AfDB Nigeria, Mr. Ebrima Faal, said this at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Road show on Tuesday in Abuja.
Faal said that the AIF idea came from the reality that the government alone could not finance the infrastructure gap in the country which is making it difficult to achieve sustainable development.
“Indeed, over the last decade, and despite impressive growth rates in most of the continent, Africa’s infrastructure needs remain formidable with annual financing gap between $130 and $107 billion annually.
“Nigeria’s infrastructure cumulative financing needs are estimated to reach $3trillion by 2044 or about $100 billion annually.
“This is all happening at a time when public sector finances are extremely pressured.
“There is therefore a critical need to change the current funding mix and create partnerships to finance infrastructure and other projects in Africa,” he said.
To this end, Faal said the AfDB planned to assist Nigeria put together a pipeline of bankable projects ahead of the Africa Investment Forum coming up from November 7 to 9 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He said that the bank, working with multilateral institutions and the private sector, would help Nigeria to develop investment-ready projects for investors, fund managers and others at the forum in South Africa.
“The African Development Bank is committed to the development of effective public-private-partnerships and has been developing new innovative financing programmes, instruments and partnerships.
“This is to facilitate the financing and construction of critical infrastructure on the continent.
“The AIF is an investment market place that aims to showcase key projects currently under development and assess how those projects will be financed, operated and delivered successfully to maximise efficiency and project success,” he said.
Also, Ms Stella Kilonzo, a Senior Director at the AfDB in-charge of the African Investment Forum, said through the forum, the bank aimed to de-risk investments in Africa.
She said that at the moment, Nigeria and Africa at large, struggled to attract significant capital due to poor preparation and packaging of project proposals, limited availability of tools for credit enhancement and risk coverage among others.
She said in Nigeria, the bank would fast-track the Sustainable Development Goals by developing bankable projects in the agricultural, energy and infrastructure sectors, among others.
Meanwhile, the Co-ordinator, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Mr. Folarin Alayande, said the Federal Government had identified key priority projects that would spur sustainable growth in the country.
He said to deliver fast results on mobilising private investments and job creation, the investment focus of the country was in the areas of agriculture and transportation, manufacturing and processing, power and gas supply.
To this end, he said Nigeria would require about $22.5 billion of investment commitments by year 2020 to cover 164 projects, spread over six geo political zones.