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The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday said that despite the $45 billion central bank reserves and a pension fund of about N8 trillion, Nigeria still requires a considerable amount of private finance to bridge it’s infrastructural needs of about $3 trillion by 2024.
Speaking at the Africa investment forum, in Abuja, Ebrima Faal, Senior Country Director at the AfDB said private sector finance is needed to bridge the huge infrastructure gap and create opportunity to exhaust numerous option for sound, innovative and economically viable growth for Nigeria as well as the Africa continent at large.
“We are hosting the Nigeria roadshow to bridge the Africa infrastructure investment gap through the Provision of debt and equity finance, project development, technical and advisory services,” Faal said.
According to him, the roadshow is held to ensure that key industry players and policy makers maximize opportunities to connect , engage and close high impact deals which will prepare Nigeria to attract viable investments at the Africa investment forum in November 2019.
Faal stressed that Nigeria had 5 deals worth $7 billion from the total deal in 2018, adding that West Africa accounted for 36 Percent of the deals closed at the 2018 Africa investment forum, with 19 projects worth $16.1 billion presented and 16 projects valued at $13.1 billion secured as investments.
“Nigeria was very visible at the 2018 investment forum, out of 63 boardroom deals presented at the forum, Nigeria had 5 deals worth $ 7 billion. This represents 14.9 percent of the total deals accounted for the continent and 43 percent of deal accounted for the region, we can do better”, he said.
Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti state in his remark noted that with $3 trillion infrastructure gap in Africa, it is inevitable to seek the private sector participation in ensuring Investment that could bridge the Gap.
“Africa has an estimated infrastructural gap of about $3 trillion over the next 3 years, it is therefore inevitable to
He said private sector funding is critical in bridging this gap and particularly creating jobs for the jobless population.
Fayemi speaking further, stressed on the need for the government to ensure an enabling business environment that could attract viable investments and greater private sector participation.
“Nigeria is opened for business,” he told those attending the summit, saying “though the government has championed some programs to create a conducive business environment, these programs need to be upheld and sustained to attract more investments and greater private sector participation.”
Taiwo Adeniji, Senior director , Africa Finance Corporation, said that infrastructure development has remained a major issue for the continent as it has often led to a cut down in total GDP by 2 percent and reduced productivity by 40 percent.
“Africa have a massive infrastrutural deficit in all sectors, and we want to change this narrative,” he assured investors.
He however added that, “In development and finance, the issue is not lack of funding but lack of bankable projects, the key objective of this form is to match bankable projects with available funds and in that way we will achieve our desired result”.