Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun has declared that infrastructure development will play a critical role in unlocking Nigeria’s economic potential, laying a foundation for economic competitiveness and long-term future growth.
Adesoun, who disclosed this at the United Capital launch of its Eurobond and Wealth for Women Fund, also stated that investment in critical infrastructure across the country will unlock job and wealth creation as well as strengthen economic development across all the states of the federation.
Other speakers represented at the event, according to Festus Akanbi, Special Assistant to the Minister on media, included Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Toyin Saraki, Wife of the Senate President, and Erelu Bisi Fayemi, President, African Women’s Development Fund.
While speaking on the outlook for the Nigerian economy, the minister noted that the government is committed to increasing capital spend on critical infrastructure across key areas; power, rail, roads, and water which will underpin growth in priority sectors especially Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Solid Minerals, Manufacturing, and Power.
“We will now target 30 per cent of government expenditure on infrastructure, up from 10 per cent,” she disclosed.
According to her, the Federal Government will mobilise private capital to complement government spending on infrastructure.
“We recognize that government spending alone will be inadequate to bridge the infrastructure gap and we have started engaging the private sector through our housing fund and the road trust fund for which fundraising is in progress.”
She further explained that the government’s debt strategy is an essential part of this process. “Today, our debt profile is unbalanced. We borrow heavily domestically, with too short a tenure, and at a high cost. The impact of this is that we spend too much on interest and we crowd out the private sector from borrowing to fund their investment plans.
“This debt structure does not support our long-term growth ambitions, and so it must be amended. We need longer term and cheaper finance to support the infrastructure investments we must make. We expect infrastructure development to underpin the return to inclusive and sustainable growth in Nigeria,” Adeosun stated.
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