- Nigeria must be spending over 20% of its GDP on infrastructure over the next decade to become a top 20 global economy by 2040.
- Nigeria and its government cannot finance our requirements and we must attract global institutional capital.
- How Nigeria grows, advances, and develops going forward relies on infrastructure investments.
Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun, said that over the next 20 years, $3 trillion worth of investments are required to close Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
Balogun stated this while speaking during the 2023 Investing in Development Conference, hosted by Chapel Hill Denham in collaboration with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Prosper Africa, and Power Africa.
He noted that Nigeria must be spending over 20% of its GDP on infrastructure including physical, social, and disruptive over the next decade, to become one of the top 20 in the global economy by 2040.
- “By that time, Nigeria’s population will be over 350 million people and Lagos State alone could have more than 40 million people.
- “Investing in infrastructure is investing in development; however, Nigeria’s paradigm goes beyond physical and social infrastructure to include enablers for agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce. And it is this infrastructure, including financial and logistics infrastructure, that ensures we can reach all of Nigeria and leave no one behind.
- “The government, pension funds, banks, and others must play the role of catalysts. Nigeria and its government cannot finance our requirements and we must attract global institutional capital.
- “The US dominates global asset management, and this conference is part of a multi-year partnership with USAID, with the objective being crowding in capital for development, towards infrastructure, and for us accelerating the attainment of the SDGs,” he said.
Solutions to bridge the infrastructure gap
Balogun revealed that Nigeria needs some sanity around the foreign currency regime, as he added that no country in the world seriously wants to attract foreign capital and even when done, it is with an unpredictable exchange rate regime and multiple exchange rates.
- “I am hoping that at the end of May, we will see a new direction, the whole world is so keen to invest in this destination because of the incredible potential of this economy but sometimes, we create small accidents for ourselves.
- “There are fewer more investable countries in the world in terms of their potential than Nigeria. We need to do things that ensure that capital, which can go to other places, will want to come here. And it’s simply about dealing with the national security issues, dealing with our exchange rate policy, it’s about dealing with certainty around contracts and commitments and just being much more predictable and the reality of it is that demography, as someone recently told me, is destiny. This country almost certainly is destined to be one of the largest economies in the world. Our leaders just need to stop committing all these self-accidents,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Acting USAID/Nigeria Mission Director, Sara Werth, said the conference showed that private sector investment in infrastructure is a vital pathway to achieving the Government of Nigeria’s development objectives across key sectors in Nigeria.
She noted that how Nigeria grows, advances, and develops going forward relies on infrastructure investments.
- “Through the two-year USAID-funded activity, Mobilizing Institutional Investment for Infrastructure Development in Nigeria, also known as INVEST, USAID will build the capacity of the institutional investor community in Nigeria. Implemented in Nigeria by investment bank Chapel Hill Denham, INVEST will galvanize private sector investments in infrastructure to support the country’s resilience to shocks and drive economic growth and development.
- “The INVEST activity and the partnership between USAID and Chapel Hill Denham will attract investments that will create jobs, improve infrastructure, and drive progress in key sectors of the Nigerian economy,” said Sara. She added, “Our discussions today will impact how we can work together to enable low-carbon and resilient infrastructure in Africa.”
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