A recent report released by one of the leading global rating agencies, Moody Investors Services, has revealed that Nigeria needs to spend about $3 trillion in over 30 years to bridge the infrastructural gap experienced in the country.
The report titled: ‘’Moody’s – Significant financing from private sector and multilaterals needed to address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.’’ revealed that Infrastructure in Nigeria (Government of Nigeria, B2 negative) is significantly behind its other emerging market peers. Hence, the sum of N3 trillion is needed over the next three decades to address the anomaly.
Why it matters: No country develops without solid infrastructures, which will be needed to transit to the frontiers phase. In lieu of this, the importance of well-developed infrastructural facilities to national development cannot be overemphasized. Little wonder this fact was pronounced in the 2020-2024 Nigeria Strategy Paper, where the AFDB highlights infrastructure development as one of its key priority areas for support.
As regards the reason the country had experienced a perennial infrastructural gap, the report stated that Nigeria faces many budgetary and financing challenges. Weak institutions and governance frameworks, along with a low tax base are hindering infrastructure investment, while financially strained utilities are unable to invest in improvements.
What they are saying
Commenting on the causes and nature of the infrastructural gap in the country, the Vice-President, Senior Analyst at Moody’s Investor Service, Kunal Govinda said,
“Nigeria currently has a significant infrastructure deficit and faces additional pressures from a rapidly growing population. Its low government funding capacity and customer affordability have been weakened further by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.”
What you should know
- The recent moody report is first of its kind on the Nigerian infrastructure market.
- Nairametrics had earlier reported the approval by the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish infrastructure companies to address this gap. This indicates that the present government is not oblivious of this fact and making efforts to address the challenges.
- The report noted that the focus of infrastructure development has been within power, railways, roads, ports, and pipelines, and this trend is expected to continue with particular investment needed to address Nigeria’s electricity shortages. To this effect, Nigeria’s power sector could benefit from renewable energy like solar and wind, with financing also possible from green bonds.
Given the huge financial outlay required to address the lacuna in infrastructural development in the country, it is pertinent to note that government alone cannot fix this gap. There is a need for public-private partnership.
In a nutshell, private sector and multilateral financing is needed to address shortfalls as financial guarantors, multilateral development banks, and local institutional investors will be important in helping finance infrastructure development.
Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme
The Lagos State Government commences the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme.
The Lagos State Government has commenced the recruitment of eligible and interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5, and 6 of its Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), under its Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES).
This was disclosed by Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, according to the press release issued by the State Government.
Ms. Abisola Olusanya noted that the programme was in furtherance of the State Government’s objective of training no fewer than 15,000 youths and women in the various agricultural value chains by the year 2023.
She pointed out that the one-month training exercise is aimed at improving capacity, creating wealth, and employment in the agricultural value chains – poultry, piggery, aquaculture and vegetables.
According to her, the strategic inclusion of the LAP Programme would efficiently reduce unemployment, create jobs and alleviate poverty in the State, as well as attract and pay more attention to the creation of jobs for women in agribusiness.
Why this matters
According to the information contained in the press release, the training is expected to play a key role in the creation of 2000 Agro-Entrepreneurs who would, in turn, become job creators, promote food security, improve nutrition and general well-being of Lagosians, as well as create at least 4000 indirect jobs per beneficiary annually.
The programme would also enhance economic activities of surrounding communities, curb the issues of unemployment, and reduce the crime rate within the State.
The initiative is an avid step towards achieving the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents before the end of the year 2025.
What you should know
- The Lagos Agripreneurship Programme is specifically tailored for men between the ages of 18 and 35 years and women between the ages of 18 and 55 years.
- Interested and eligible candidates must have a minimum of Senior Secondary School Certificate and must have a passion for agriculture.
- Candidates are to obtain application forms free of charge at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe; Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Oko Oba, Agege; Lagos Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority, Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Coconut House, Mowo, Badagry and Ministry of Agriculture Area Office, Ajah, Eti Osa between Tuesday, 24th November and Tuesday, 8th December.
- Candidates are expected to collect and submit application forms between November 24 and December 8, 2020.
- Interested participants are expected to sit for a written examination on Monday and Tuesday, 14th and 15th of December, 2020, while oral interviews would take place on Friday and Saturday, 18th and 19th December, 2020.
- Shortlisted successful candidates would start the formal training at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe, on Tuesday, 5th of January, 2021.
What they are saying
Speaking about the programme, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said:
“Following the training of a total of 400 participants under three batches of the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme, L.A.P, Lagos State will begin the recruitment and shortlisting of interested candidates for the Batches 4, 5 and 6 of the Programme.
“The current reality and exigencies of job creation for the teeming youth population and attainment of food security requires that a more aggressive, strategic and efficient approach be employed in the training and empowerment of women and youths if Lagos State is to achieve a significant reduction of unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and also significantly enhance food security in the State by the year 2023.”
AfCFTA: Focus on manufacturing will boost diversification goals – FG
FG has stated that the AfCFTA will provide the platform for a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.
The Federal Government announced its commitment to Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and says the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will provide the platform for Nigeria’s diversification dreams, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Amb. Mariam Katagum, a commemoration of the 2020 Africa Industrialization Day (AID) in Abuja. The theme is: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization in the AfCFTA and COVID 19 Era.”
Tuesday’s event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments (FMITI) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Minister disclosed the FG is aware of the challenges imposed on Nigerian manufacturers due to the pandemic and revealed the FG is doing its best in terms of viable policies, grants, and infrastructure.
“The FMITI is a willing partner in providing the necessary enabling environment that will further stimulate industrialization, accelerate domestic and foreign direct investments,” she said.
“It will as well as ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to Nigeria’s Trade and Industrial policy. This year’s event provides the opportunity to deeply reflect on the state of the industrial sector and the apparent weaknesses which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has become critical, more than ever before for governments at all levels in Africa to dedicate more time, energy, and resources for the growth and development of all categories of industries in the continent.
“A critical testimony to our effective responses to issues was evidenced at the onset of COVID-19 when the FMITI set up an Emergency Operation Center (EOC), which guaranteed unhindered production of goods and services in the industrial sector.
“To complement and sustain these efforts, we are repositioning the ministry to establish a similar response mechanism in all our industrial activities as a buffer to cushion the effects of the COVID- 19 Pandemic,” she said.
The Minister added that industrialization will boost Africa’s GDP and job prospects, especially with the ratification of the AfCFTA. She also said that a national focus on manufacturing with the African free trade deal will boost Nigeria’s diversification agenda and move towards a non-oil economy.
“It is obvious that the implementation of AfCFTA, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector will provide the platform for our quest for diversification to a prosperous non-oil dependent economy.
“Let me assure you that the Federal Government of Nigeria is geared up to meeting the demands of the enlarged continental market, which will be fostered by AfCFTA.
“This will attract more foreign direct investments into key industries and sectors of our economy, especially, where we possess comparative and competitive advantages.
“The benefits of AfCFTA are quite enormous, some of which include increased food security, through reduction of the rate of protection on trade in agricultural produce amongst African countries,” she said.
What you should know
The Federal Government announced that it has ratified Nigeria’s membership to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ahead of the December 5, 2020 deadline. The agreement goes into effect from the 1st of January 2021.
Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said in September that Nigeria was more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) due to her domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.
FG willing to implement new ideas to grow the economy – Osinbajo
The Federal Government has disclosed it is willing to implement new ideas suggested in the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has announced that the Federal Government has been willing to implement new ideas suggested in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) after the fallout of the pandemic on the nation’s economy.
This was disclosed by the media aide to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja. He added that the Vice President disclosed this at a virtual meeting with the Franco-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
What you should know
In June, the Nigerian Government released its Economic Sustainability Plan which it hopes will address the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was put together by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) assembled by President Muhammadu Buhari. Members of the committee included the Vice President, CBN Governor, 15 Ministers, GMD NNPC, and the Permanent Secretary.
The report said Nigeria should:
- Develop a clear Economic Sustainability Plan in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic;
- Identify fiscal measures for enhancing distributable oil and gas revenue, increasing non-oil revenues and reducing non-essential spending, towards securing sufficient resources to fund the plan;
- Propose monetary policy measures in support of the Plan;
- Provide a Fiscal/Monetary Stimulus Package, including support to private businesses (with emphasis on strategic sectors most affected by the pandemic) and vulnerable segments of the population, and many others.
The Vice President disclosed that implementing the Plan was to save jobs and protect Nigerian businesses affected by the pandemic.
Osinbajo said, “It is important to recognise that the pandemic, which really is the cause of the downturn, not just in the Nigerian economy but practically all of our economies, all over the world, except perhaps China, also provides incredible opportunities for doing all manner of very innovative and creative things.
“And if you look at our ESP, which is our response to the pandemic, what we tried to do was to do a few things that we thought would be game-changing.
“For example, one of the important things that we are trying to do with respect to renewable energy is with solar power.
“We are collaborating with several solar power companies to provide within the next 12 months, five million Nigerian households with solar home systems.
“This is partly to address the issues with the national grid by providing more off-grid capacity and provide more opportunities in the renewable energy space.
“ What we are doing is to get the financing through the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan.”
Osinbajo said backward integration is key to driving economic growth and urged for private sector commitment to align with the FG’s backward integration goals.
“For us, the issue of backward integration is right, front and centre, and it has been so for many years.
“We believe that an aggressive pursuit of it is really important for us as an economic policy.
“The most important thing, as I said, is that we are committed to backward integration.
“Unfortunately, over the years, many companies have committed to backward integration but have simply not been as diligent and faithful with those promises.
“So, we really want to see much greater commitment and a plan that is as aggressive as our own aspirations,” he added.