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Nigeria's infrastructure to get shot in the arm – Money Matters

August 7, 2012 No Comments »

The poor state of Nigeria’s infrastructure is set to receive a US$200 million cash injection to enable loans for public /private partnerships wanting to finance improvement schemes.

The World Bank is poised to lend the cash as a seed fund to set up a Financial Intermediary Loan scheme under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

The good news was revealed at a summit of finance chiefs meeting in Lagos by Jo Ohiani, head of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

He explained that eligible participating financial intermediaries, particularly commercial banks with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the lead, will lend to qualifying private sector partners in a Public Private Partnership project.

Public investment programmes, which are already in accordance with the national policy of PPP, are set to be prioritised in the selection process for eligible projects for financing.

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While presenting a report titled Governmental Promotion of Infrastructure Development, Ohiani  highlighted the ‘deplorable state’ of infrastructure in the African continent.

The annual investment in infrastructure in Africa doubled from $17 billion to $35 billion between 2001 and 2009, while the overall spending needs for sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at £93 billion annually over the next decade.

Ohiani said with the massive gaps in funding, there were major opportunities for private sector finance in infrastructure developments in Africa.  He said: “Governments in Africa are taking active steps towards addressing the state of infrastructure in the region.”

The ICRC is planning to bring 20 projects to the market before the end of the year despite the many challenges of getting Government departments and agencies and private sector partners to abide by the PPP guidelines.

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