Chris Steven, Abuja
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has explained the the decision of the government to allocate more for infrastructure in the 2016 budget, saying“Infrastructure is very necessary to grow the economy of a nation.
The Minister said there is need to fix infrastructure in order to create an environment for private sector to grow
He stated this during his meeting with a delegation of the management of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, in Abuja.
According to him, infrastructure is very necessary to grow the economy of a nation and will also create an enabling environment for private sector to grow.
He explained further that more than 60 percent of the investment needed for the infrastructure development in the country is to be realized from the private sector, adding that government will prepare projects that are bankable so that the private sector can invest in them.
Accordingly, the Minister reiterated the desire of the Federal Government to build a stronger relationship with The Infrastructure Bank and create an environment for the private sector to thrive by intensifying its collaboration with the bank, pointing out that the collaboration with TIB was very important with government’s effort at diversifying the nation’s economy from crude oil.
Udoma also said that there is need to put Nigeria back to work which can only be achieved by increasing production in Agriculture and encouraging Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Earlier, CEO of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, told the Minister that, TIB has been a partner with the former National Planning Commission (NPC) in the last two years, and actively participated in the development of National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) and has also been a key stakeholder in the implementation process and supporting the infrastructure related initiatives in the country.
He also revealed that the Bank equally funded and provided technical support for the proposed official launching of the NIIMP document and in November 2014 appointed as institutional advisor to the Ministry on NIIMP implementation.
Accordingly, Oyinloye said that, the Bank focuses on funding commercially viable infrastructure projects that have significant developmental impact by assisting both public institutions and private sector companies involved in the delivery of infrastructure services with the provision of specially designed development loans.
He also listed out other key functions of the bank to include; offering tailored advisory services to clients to assist them in packaging their projects and to promote, organise and support programmes that provide technical assistance, capacity building and other value adding services to strengthen the institutional and delivery capacities of MDAs.
The CEO however recommended reconstitution of the collaborative technical team on NIIMP and operationalisation of the subsisting MoU as well as providing funding and technical supports for delivery of NIIMP priorities.