Organised Private Sector yesterday in Lagos warned that with the total collapse of infrastructure in the country, Nigeria will require about $2.9 trillion (N87 trillion) in 30 years to close its infrastructural gap.
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on Tuesday, said successive governments in the last forty years have neglected infrastructural development.
The 2nd Vice President of the Association, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, while reading the late President, Dr. Mohammed Yinusa’s address said the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan draft stated that N87 trillion was required, but lamented that the neglect over the years will now lead the nation to a projected deficit of US$878 billion by 2040.
He said, “We commend the President for signing Executive Order 07, aimed at further fostering partnership between the private sector and Government in infrastructural development. As much as this is desirable and in the right direction, it must be noted, that the burden of infrastructural development lies with Government.” He noted that the partial implementation of 2018 budget allocation of N2.87trillion to capital expenditure, which represents 31 per cent of total budget, as was typical of past years was worrisome.
The NECA boss also lamented the gradual reduction in the budgetary allocation to infrastructure from N2.87 trillion in 2018 to N2.03 trillion in 2019 budget. We urge that government should take urgent steps to facilitate the completion of the Apapa Ports road, the Agbara Industrial Estate road and other strategic roads in the nation”, he said.
He explained that billions of naira is being lost annually due to the deplorable infrastructure at the ports. The NECA President who said the operating environment still remained challenging for businesses in spite of the Presidential Executive Order, said survey by the OPS showed that Nigeria lost about N3.06 trillion, an equivalent of US$10 billion on non-oil export and about N2.5 trillion earnings annually across the different sectors due to the Apapa gridlock.
He equally condemned the poor state of power sector, calling for more support to the players in the sector as well as positive review of the reform, stating that grandstanding, name – calling and buck – passing have left businesses and the general public disenchanted.