By Chinenye Anuforo
Sadiq Abu, CEO of Absa Nigeria, has called for a robust public-private sector investment in national infrastructure development to enable impactful national productivity and wider enterprise with a strong bearing on the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In a recent statement, Abu, said ‘private sector participation in national infrastructure development will offset the impact of the worsening government fiscal position on the nation’s growth agenda while catalysing the local economy.’
He explained that the extensive network of Nigerian roads, railway, air travel, and municipal facilities have to be continuously maintained and renewed to provide optimum support to the small and large businesses that are driving the economy.
According to him, the government may not be well-placed to make the total funds available to address the current level of the nation’s infrastructure deficit seeing it has been committing a larger chunk of its dwindling revenues to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
He stressed that encouraging private sector participation in infrastructure development will provide the robust funding necessary to renew and revive ailing state assets. As well, infrastructure spending will reboot the economy leading to faster recovery from the COVID-19 disruptions.
Recall that as part of the government’s drive to bridge infrastructure gaps in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in July 2021 announced the establishment of a $37 million Infrastructure Fund and the selection of four firms of asset managers to ensure the proper management of the Fund.
To lend credence to the insight shared by Abu, the vice president had called on the private sector to identify areas of collaboration with the government, optimise the benefits in infrastructure investment and contribute to the creation of jobs for unemployed Nigerians.