Virtual Inauguration Of The National Council On Infrastructure
OPENING REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INFRASTRUCTURE ON TUESDAY, 23RD AUGUST, 2022
I welcome you to the inauguration of the National Council on Infrastructure.
A fundamental feature of our administration’s plan for the rapid development of the economy is a deliberate and massive investment in Infrastructure. Some of the more significant investments include the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road, funded through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, (PIDF).
Other notable road sector investments include the construction and upgrading of about 5,000km of major road projects across the country through the Sukuk Bond. Rail sector investments include the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge lines and the Warri-Itakpe rail.
In the energy sector, this administration has green-lit the NLNG Train 7, invested in the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline and is on track to complete an incremental 4,000MW of generating assets (such as Zungeru Hydro and Kashimbilla Hydro) to complement systemic reforms and investments in the distribution and transmission segments of the electricity value chain.
The administration is investing more than $2billion in distribution and transmission through the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative, the Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Plan, the CBN-financed Transmission-Distribution Interface Program and the recently approved $500 million World Bank DISREP program for the distribution segment.
We have also been innovative and proactive in developing financing options; last year the government launched the N15trillion Infrastructure Corporation (InfraCorp Nigeria) and the President also signed Executive Order 7, which has informed the right policy framework and created some opportunities for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development.
However, despite these significant efforts and progress, including the allocation of at least 30 per cent of the Federal Annual Budget to infrastructure projects since 2016, substantial infrastructure deficits remain across the country.
To ensure the effective coordination of the infrastructure development across the nation, and all sectors of the economy and to bring in private sector participation, the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan was developed.
The Master Plan emanated through an elaborate and inclusive process, including the work of the Ministerial Steering Committee, Technical Working Groups and the Business Support Group, which provided the needed private sector perspective and expectations.
The Master Plan provides an integrated view of infrastructure development in Nigeria with clear linkages across key sectors and identifies and elaborates on enablers for successful implementation in line with the current economic realities. It takes stock of existing infrastructure and specifically sets out the goal of raising Nigeria’s infrastructure stock to at least 70 per cent by the year 2043.
For efficient and effective implementation of infrastructure projects, the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan recommended the establishment of the National Council on Infrastructure, (which we gather to inaugurate) and its Technical Working Group (TWG).
The Council is to provide policy direction on infrastructure matters and drive the creation and sustenance of the expected synergy and linkages between the public and the private sector to enhance the implementation of the Infrastructure Master Plan, while the Technical Working Group is to provide guidance to the Council and advise on all infrastructure related matters. This governance structure conforms with global best practice
The Reviewed National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (2020-2043) and the National Development Plan 2021-2025 also estimated the current nation’s infrastructure stock to be between 30-35 per cent of the GDP in 2020 against 20 per cent of the GDP recorded at the inception of this administration in 2015. This is still a far cry from the estimated target of 70 per cent envisaged in 2043.
The estimated resource requirement for the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan implementation is USD2.3trillion. Certainly, too large to be provided from public resources alone. Consequently, a well-coordinated and strategic approach will be required to harness private resources to increase the stock of Nigeria’s infrastructure to the desired level by the year 2043.
The private sector is expected to play an increasingly important role either directly or in collaboration with the government through Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government providing a supportive environment with stable and transparent policies, rules and regulations.
The National Council on Infrastructure on its part will be expected to:
(i) Facilitate the creation of a desired enabling environment conducive to attracting and stimulating private sector investments in critical infrastructure projects i.e., legal and regulatory framework, policy stance, and risk mitigation;
(ii) Facilitate resource allocation for critical capital projects, sequencing of projects in the budgets and facilitate the release of approved capital votes;
(iii) Facilitate the resolution of inter-agency regulatory-related conflicts between the different MDAs which might hinder the delivery of critical projects among MDAs;
(iv) Provide the Federal Executive Council with clear perspectives on Infrastructure Projects Appraisal and Capital Asset Management;
(v) Determine and approve an appropriate model to fund and deliver a prioritized project or series of projects;
(vi) Conceive innovative solutions to finance and deliver critical infrastructure;
(vii) Take all necessary steps to obtain all necessary approvals to give effect to decisions of the Council, particularly, approval of the Federal Executive Council; and
(viii)Lead the process for the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation, including sectoral regulatory frameworks, which impact project delivery or the attraction of private sector participation.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the success of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan will depend, to a large extent, on the establishment of a strong implementation mechanism and framework that promotes performance and accountability.
To this end, the Infrastructure Delivery Coordinating Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is been strengthened to effectively perform its role as the Council’s Secretariat.
While commending all efforts towards this notable endeavour, we must specially thank the Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, the Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and the Management and staff of the Ministry for facilitating the constitution of this Council and for all their hard work.
I have no doubt that the very capable and experienced members of the Council will fully appreciate the critical importance of their task to the economic future of our country.
It is now my very special privilege and pleasure to formally inaugurate the National Council on Infrastructure.
Congratulations to all Council members!
Thank you for your kind attention.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.