FG’s N15trn Infrastructure Company takes off 3rd quarter – Emefiele

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele yesterday said that the N15 trillion Infrastructure Company Limited (InfraCo) created by the federal government to bridge the huge infrastructure gap will take off this quarter.

Emefiele who spoke at investors’ webinar forum designed to showcase the investment opportunities in Nigeria’s privatisation and economic reforms programmes said the federal government had approved KPMG as the financial adviser to InfraCo.

He stated that for Nigeria to attain meaningful growth, there must be huge investments in key sectors of the economy, including infrastructure such as rail and power, among others.

He further said the COVID-19 pandemic and developments in the global crude oil market had created negatively affected not only the global economy but also the Nigerian economy in the past 18 months.

He said in June 2021, investments in the importers and exporters (I&E) window stood at over N3 trillion at an average rate of N412 to the dollar, adding that this meant that on an average working day of 20 working days, close to $150 million was posted in that market.

“For Nigeria, we witnessed a drop in foreign exchange earnings, government revenues along with supply chain disruptions which ultimately led to the economy falling into a recession during the third quarter of 2020. Significant interventions by the monetary and fiscal authorities in key sectors of our economy such as in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors eventually helped and led to the rebound of growth during the fourth quarter of 2020 as gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.11 per cent.

“The sustenance of these measures has also helped to support growth of 0.51 per cent during the first quarter of 2021. Nonetheless, we consider this growth as fragile and therefore seek the support of those of us here at this webinar to continue to work with us to grow our economy,” he said.

Investors in the N15 trillion InfraCo include the CBN, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Emefiele said InfraCo had generated huge interest in deploying private capital to for infrastructure, adding that the approval of the vice president has been secured to appoint KPMG as transaction advisers.

In his keynote address, the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo aid the seminar was organised to showcase investment opportunities arising from Nigerians economic reforms and privatisation activities.

I think that many who have observed the current Nigerian government would agree with me that an article of faith for this government is the importance of mobilising private capital and participation for improving efficiency and driving economic growth and this really explains why we have this collaboration today between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (which you know is in charge of our sectoral reform programme) with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) to host this seminar as an important platform drawing attention to investment opportunities to both our local and foreign friends and collaborators,” he added.

He stressed that privatising utilities of the size of the former PHCN “simply calls for deeper intentional consideration of the right models and the right type of investors and also looking at funding for these investors over an extended period of time.

“These are some of the challenges that we have seen, but I think that it’s an excellent lesson and there is so much that we are learning in approaching privatisation, especially our utilities, going forward,” he said.

Also speaking, the director general of the Bureau of Public enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh, said the agency had listed over 36 assets for sale and giving them out to concessionaires under its 2021 work plan.

He disclosed that about N500 billion is expected to be contributed into the federal government coffers from the privatisation proceeds this year.

He further disclosed that 234 public assets had been sold in the last 32 years while N1 trillion was generated by the agency.

The event was organised by the BPE in collaboration with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).

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