Nigeria will need about $3 trillion in the next 26 years to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country, stated the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said at the Infrastructural Summit of the 40th anniversary of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construct, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) last week in Abuja that the importance and centrality of the country’s infrastructural development as a nation could not be overestimated
Speaking on the theme of the anniversary, “Role of Infrastructure in a Developing Economy: A Case Study of Nigeria,” Wabba said this has become important as Nigeria has many infrastructural deficits that affect various sectors of the economy.
According to Wabba, such sectors included energy, transport, railways, roads, inland waterways, education, housing, agriculture and information and communication technology, among others.
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He said, “the World Economic Forum states that every dollar spent on infrastructure has a potential to generate between five to 10 per cent of economic growth and, therefore, this is very central and key.
“This potential is important as it has been estimated that Nigeria needs at least $3 trillion in the next 26 years to bridge the infrastructural gap in the country.
“As this will transform our vast potential into concrete social economic tangibles and this will also require about $100 billion capital investment annually.”
He said that it was, however, regrettable that Nigeria had not been able to attain its potentialities as it concerns provision of infrastructure in the country.
The NLC president said, “for instance, if you look at our population of close to 200 million, we are still struggling to keep our electricity generation at less than 4,000 megawatts, while South Africa’s was at 55million megawatts.
“No doubt, that is why our industries cannot operate at full potential and there is no way we can address the challenging issue of unemployment in the country.
“So, infrastructure is the key to addressing multifaceted development, from the issues of poverty, unemployment and insecurity.
“Therefore, your union is very central and I am very delighted that you chose this theme to look at infrastructural development in our country and how to work the talk.”
President of the union, Amechi Asugwuni, said, for the Nigerian economy to thrive sufficiently, there was need for critical infrastructure.
Also, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, said that the them for the summit was apt as current policies of the present administration were geared towards addressing the infrastructural deficits in the
Ocheni noted that infrastructure was key to national development as it would address the issue of unemployment and insecurity, among others.
“The lack of infrastructural development in the country was due to inappropriate policies and lack of continuity by the past administrations.
“I want to assure you that the present administration attaches great importance to capital projects and is determined to continue with viable projects and so we are vigorously pursuing it,” he said.