By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has stressed that for Nigeria to experience an economic growth, emphasises must be given to infrastructure development.
This, according to her, will lay a foundation for economic competitiveness and long-term future growth.
Mrs Adeosun said that is why the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is giving priority to increasing capital spend on critical infrastructure across key areas; power, rail, roads, and water which will underpin growth in priority sectors especially agriculture and agro-allied, solid minerals, manufacturing, and power.
Speaking at the launch of United Capital’s Eurobond and Wealth for Women Fund, the Minister pointed out that investment in critical infrastructure across the country will unlock job and wealth creation as well as strengthen economic development across all the states of the federation.
“We recognize 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.
“We will now target 30 percent of government expenditure on infrastructure, up from 10 percent,” she said.
Mrs Adeosun said further that the government’s debt strategy is an essential part of this process.
According to her, “Today, our debt profile is unbalanced. 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. We expect infrastructure development to underpin the return to inclusive and sustainable growth in Nigeria.”
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