ICRC urges Nigeria to develop bankable projects to attract investors

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Mr Chidi Izuwah, Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), says Nigeria should draft infrastructure projects that are financially viable with high probability of success, to attract institutional lenders for financing.

Izuwah said this at the Third Quarter Public Private Partnership Consultative Forum (3PUCF) meeting in Abuja.

3PUCF is a forum designed to provide a platform for Heads of PPP Units in Federal MDAs for knowledge and experience sharing; ensuring symmetry of effort towards institutionalising the Federal Government’s PPP programme.

It was also created to facilitate service delivery as well as ensure faster and reduced cost of project execution.

The forum, which meets every quarter, has the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as its Chairman, the Federal Ministry of Finance as the Vice-Chairman and the ICRC as Secretariat.

Izuwah said that infrastructure projects in Africa were big and complex.

The world is awash with capital and grants from banks, insurance companies, institutional investors and successful people looking for opportunities to invest.

“According to a World Bank report, there is about 120 trillion dollars available worldwide for investment.  So money is not a problem.

“However, capital will never go to where it is threatened.

“To attract this capital, we need bankable projects and also draft regulations that would protect investors and investments.’

Izuwah said the Nigerian aviation sector had a lot of potential.

He explained that Nigeria was geographically blessed and could easily be developed to be the heart of aviation in the world.

He said aviation’s contribution to GDP was currently at 0.4 per cent, which was very poor, especially when compared with cities like Dubai, where aviation contributed about 32 per cent to GDP.

“The major problem of doing business in Nigeria is logistics. If we get that right, businesses will flourish,’’ he said.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector), Mr Louis Edozien, said  the ministry was currently working to concession six power ventures using the PPP model.

He said they included 6MW Ikere Gorge Dam in Oyo State, 1MW Doma Dam in Nassarawa State, 2MW Omi Kampe Dam in Kogi and the Power House Solar Project, Abuja.

Also, Mr Goodluck Enimakpokpo, a Consultant with General Electric, made a presentation on the company’s investment in the power sector, spanning  Europe and Africa, including its investment in Afam Power Plant, Nigeria.

He said General Electric was ready to invest in the Nigeria Rail Concession Project, a 30-year concession project, if the government could give adequate guarantee on investments.

He said that Nigeria’s lack of legal framework to protect investors and their investment was a major drawback for serious investors.

He emphasised the need to draft laws that would help investors militate against all kinds of risk to their investments.

He also talked about the impact of the instability in the foreign exchange market, which made it difficult for investors to plan long term in the country.

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