The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said that infrastructure development would play a fundamental role in unlocking Nigeria’s economic potential, laying a foundation for economic competitiveness and long-term future growth.
Adesoun said this on Wednesday at the United Capital launch of its Eurobond and Wealth for Women Funds in Abuja.
Adesoun said that investment in critical infrastructure across the country would unlock job and wealth creation and strengthen economic development across all states in Nigeria.
Commenting on the outlook for the Nigerian economy, the minister said the government was committed to increasing capital spent on critical infrastructure across key areas – power, rail, roads and water.
She said this would underpin growth in priority sectors, especially Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Solid Minerals, Manufacturing and Power.
“We will now target 30 per cent of government expenditure on infrastructure, up from 10 per cent.
“The Federal Government will mobilise private capital to complement government spending on infrastructure.
“We recognise that government spending alone will be inadequate to bridge the infrastructure gap and we have started engaging the private sector through our housing fund and the road trust fund for which fundraising is in progress,” she said.
Adeosun explained that the government’s debt strategy was an essential part of this process.
“Today, our debt profile is imbalanced. We borrow heavily domestically, with too short a tenure, and at a high cost.
“The impact of this is that we spend too much on interest and we crowd out the private sector from borrowing to fund their investment plans.
“This debt structure does not support our long term growth ambitions, and so it must be amended.
“We need longer term and cheaper finance to support the infrastructure investments we must make,” she said.
Adeosun said infrastructure development would lead to an inclusive and sustainable growth in Nigeria.