Nigeria infrastructure gap needs a sound plan: AfDB - CNBC Africa

Nigeria infrastructure gap needs a sound plan: AfDB

Western Africa

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently launched its 10-year strategy plan that will guide the bank’s operations as it supports economic transformation and inclusive growth in the West African region.

 “Nigeria requires something like 350 billion US dollars for this action plan between this year and 2020. To finance this gap that we’ve so identified, a variety of players are required to finance it. The government itself, the private sector, through public-private partnerships,” AfDB vice president and chief economist Mthuli Ncube told CNBC Africa on Monday.

The African Development Bank, World Bank and other development partners also include the list of members that will partner in the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure.

Domestic and international bonds are also expected to come into play as part of the financing instruments to close the 350 billion dollar gap.

According to the 2012-2013World Bank Global Competitiveness Report, Nigeria is ranked 66th out of 144 economies in the world in terms of business sophistication but ranked 134th in the world in terms of security, which has worsened in the last year, an additional setback for the country’s progress. Nigeria is also ranked 130th in terms of infrastructural efficiency.

Nigeria’s future infrastructure plans would therefore have to be meticulously planned in order to prevent governments or partnerships from failing to fully fund infrastructure projects.

 “First of all we needed a plan. Then we would need some kind of implementing unit working together with the planning commission minister Shamsudeen Usman. This would be a way to really put everything together to make sure that it works,” Ncube explained.

“We should understand that implementing such plan is in a sense an ecosystem: you also have to upgrade the skills of those who will be working on the various projects. There’s a lot to do just in terms of training colleges, but also a lot to do in building cluster industries around these infrastructure programmes so that all Nigerians benefit from it in terms of economic opportunity.”

Nigeria has however been successful in infrastructure improvements on the quality of general and transnational roads, rail and port services, which continue to work successfully in creating delivery channels into the county’s economic growth.

“The reforms are going in the right direction and what we’re asking for in the action plan is a scaling up, more partnership, building among stronger ecosystems and better implementation,” said Ncube.

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