Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
the Federal Government on Wednesday announced that it would utilise infrastructure bond instruments from financial institutions and investors to finance the development of roads and bridges across the country.
According to the government, the move will help fast-track the construction of roads nationwide and will supplement other sources of funding for road projects.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this while playing host to institutional investors, including representatives of HSBC and different Chinese groups, who were led to the ministry by the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC, Damola Sogunle.
Fashola, in a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja on Wednesday, told his guests that financing road projects through tax relief and the Islamic banking sukuk were not enough to provide the required infrastructure development in Nigeria.
He said the utilisation of infrastructure bond instruments would complement the Federal Government’s effort in providing the needed critical infrastructure to end users.
The minister also stated that there was a need for a reset in the housing sector, adding that financial establishments must stand as the vanguard for this initiative as it was being done in other countries, such as the United Kingdom.
Fashola said the pilot projects for the National Housing Programme had taken off in 33 states of the federation.
He explained that the housing project was made up of one to three-bedroom apartments, adding that the buildings would be valued accordingly, considering their respective standards and infrastructure.
According to him, the Federal Government currently holds 40 per cent stake in the power distribution companies, and urged investors in the power sector to bring in value to the industry by looking at areas where investments were actually required.
Earlier in his address, Sogunle explained that investors were interested in financing projects that would impact positively on the country’s infrastructure.
He said the visit was aimed at enabling investors in Nigeria to have information and good understanding of the activities of the ministry and the country at large in order to make proper investment decisions.
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