Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government said it has received $10 billion private sector investment proposal on the development and growth of infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
The proposal, aimed at hastening the improvement of infrastructure and social development of the region, was presented to stakeholders during a meeting comprising ministers and governors of the Niger Delta region and chief executives of international oil and gas companies.
The event which was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, is targeted at making a paradigm shift from public sector mechanism to private sector funding mechanism.
The funds would be generated in partnership with the federal government from development partners, international oil and gas companies, Sovereign Wealth Fund, commercial banks, cooperative banks and insurance companies.
It will be put together under the Niger Delta Investment Fund for investors to access and execute meaningful development in the Niger Delta region.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Henshaw Capital Partners, Barbara James, who presented the document to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, bemoaned that public funding of projects in the region has been retrogressive due to improper monitoring and evaluation.
James pointed out that over $40 billion public funds have been said to be spent on projects execution in the region in the last 16 years without commensurate infrastructure on the ground, hence the need to approach private sector partnership mechanism.
James said: “I came here to talk about Niger Delta Investment Fund. It is $10 billion investments. The purpose of the fund is to channel private sector investors into Niger Delta region. All around the world, infrastructure budget and business enterprises use private finances, funds from Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in infrastructure.
“So, we want to bring that trend to Nigeria and the Niger Delta region to fast track development.
The fund will be managed by independent managers so that the investors will have confidence in investing in the funds.”
On his part, Usani said there is the need to source for funds due to the enormous developmental needs of the Niger Delta region and added that the proposal would be forwarded to the technical committee for urgent and appropriate action.