The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has secured the Federal Government’s approval to set up a $39.4 billion (N15 trillion) infrastructure development company in collaboration with the Sovereign Wealth Fund, to invest in the country’s critical transport network.
The venture, which is expected to leverage local and international funds, are projected to cover an initial 5-year period.
The disclosure is part of the statement made by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, during the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on July 20, 2020.
This entity, which will be wholly focused on Nigeria and Nigerians alone, will be co-owned by the CBN, African Finance Corporation (AFC), and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
However, it will be exclusively managed by an Independent Infrastructure Fund Manager (IIFM) that will mobilize local and foreign capital to support the Federal Government in building the transport infrastructure required to move agriculture and other products to processors, raw materials to factories, and finished goods to market.
The MPC also noted, albeit with satisfaction, the CBN’s immediate work on the updates and timelines for the establishment of this much-needed entity.
Experts have pointed out that the poor state of infrastructure and the huge infrastructure deficit seriously puts at risk, the current administration’s plans to industrialize the country and establish a vibrant agricultural sector to encourage economic growth.
This initiative is to help fix the nation’s dilapidating road network and railway lines to tackle decades of decay that has stunted economic growth and made it difficult to move agricultural products from the rural areas or farms to processing plants and finished goods to the markets.