The Federal Government yesterday came up a $25 billion infrastructure investment fund with a view to closing the nation’s huge infrastructure gap.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that in the current environment of significant revenue squeeze and other budgetary constraints, these investments will clearly not come from government coffers alone.
“We believe this is where the capital market can really make itself relevant by stepping in to close the funding gap. Government is already looking to set up a $25 billion fund wholly dedicated to infrastructure investments. A crucial assignment we have for the capital market community is to come up with other innovative ways of mobilising the capital needed to address Nigeria’s infrastructure challenge,” she said.
Nigeria needs and deserves a capital market that is characterised by high levels of liquidity, depth, breadth and sophistication to enable rapid socio-economic development. Going through the Master Plan, it is heartwarming to note that this is the type of capital market you envision for our country and we desperately need such a market to emerge in order to tackle Nigeria’s biggest challenges of huge infrastructure deficit and unacceptable level of unemployment.
As you all know, to grow our economy, we require significant funds to modernise our critical infrastructure,” the Minister said.
Adeosun however expressed worry that currently, less than 3 per cent of Nigerians invest in the capital market and that even more worrisome is the fact that only 0.2 per cent of Nigerians invest in mutual funds.
“For a country and economy of our size, there is no reason why we should not be able to actualise the targets and aspirations we have set for ourselves within the Master Plan. With diligent implementation, we shall emerge as Africa’s most modern, efficient and internationally competitive capital market that catalyses Nigeria’s emergence as a top 20 global economy, greater coordination and hopefully, better results. As we inaugurate the council that will lead advocacy for the Capital Market Master Plan, I urge everyone here to see this as the important national assignment it represents,” she said.