Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba has said Nigeria will need about $3 trillion in the next 26 years to bridge the infrastructural gap in country.
The National President of National Union of Civil Engineering Construct, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), Comrade Amaechi Asugwuni, attributed the dearth of infrastructure in the country to massive corruption and what he described as irresponsibility of the federal, state, and local governments.
Speaking at the Infrastructural Summit and 40th anniversary of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construct, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) yesterday in Abuja, Wabba said the importance of infrastructural development as a nation cannot be overestimated.
He said the country was suffering from several infrastructural deficit that has affected the various sector of the national economy, pointing out that sectors that have suffered mostly includes the energy, transport, railways, roads, inland waterways, education, housing, agricultural sector and the information communication technology, among others.
According to him, the World Economy Forum state that every dollar spend on infrastructure has a potential to generate between five to ten per cent of economic growth and therefore this is very central and key.
“This potential is important as it has been estimated that Nigeria needs at least three trillion us dollars in the next 26 years to bridge the infrastructural gap in the country. As this will transform our vast potentials into concrete social economy tangibles and this will also require about 100 billion dollars capital investment annually, ‘’he said.
He lamented that despite the enormous resources available to the country, Nigeria has not be able to attain to its potentials as it concerns infrastructure in the country.
He said “for instance if you look at our population of closed to 200 million and we are still struggling to keep our electricity generation at less than 4000 megawatt while South Africa are at 55million megawatt.
“No doubt that is why our industries cannot operate at full potential and there is no way we can address the challenging issue of unemployment in the country. So, infrastructure is the key to addressing multifaceted development, from the issues of poverty, unemployment, insecurity.
“Therefore your union is very central and that I am very delighted that you chose this theme to look at infrastructural development in our country and how to work the talk, ‘’Wabba said.
Also Prof. Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State, Labour and Employment said policies of the present administration were gear towards addressing the infrastructural deficits in the country.
Ocheni said that infrastructure was the key to national development as it would address the issue of unemployment, security, among others, adding that the lack of infrastructural development in the country was due inappropriate policies and lack of continuity by the past administration.
“I want to assure you that the present administration attach great importance to capital projects and is determined to continue with viable projects and so we are vigorously pursuing it, ‘’he said.