FEC approves fund to bridge $878bn national infrastructure deficit

Adejoke Adeogun
Adejoke Adeogun
FEC meeting

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the setting up of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF) to bridge the nation’s $878 billion infrastructure gap.

Announcing this to journalists after the week’s FEC, which was presided over by President Bola Tinubu, Special Adviser to the President on Revenue and Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr Zacch Adedeji, also disclosed that the Fund will be domiciled in the Presidency.

According to him, the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan had estimated Nigeria’s infrastructure expenditure from 2016 to 2040 at USD 878 billion, averaging USD 35 billion annually, adding that recognising that the Federal Government alone could not meet the demand, given its heavy reliance on

revenue from the oil and gas sector, new financing frameworks are required, hence the RHIDF, which is an upgrade to the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund initiated by the previous administration.

Throwing more light on the Fund, Adedeji said: “How do we sustainably mobilise resources to actually fund development of the country. And what we have observed is that we need national  infrastructure backbone to get this done.

“If you look at the analysis of the integrated master plan that was commissioned in 2020, we will require $895 billion in the next 10 years to actually bridge the gap in the infrastructure problem that we have.

“For us to do that, it requires that we think outside the box and compare what has worked elsewhere, whether within our country or in other advanced countries that we are actually proud to be associated with.

“In coming up with this, in the wisdom of Mr. President and the magnanimity of the council, they approved the establishment of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Fund, as the catalyst to drive our infrastructure agenda.

“So, innovative funds consolidate existing resources to drive economic growth and connectivity across sectors like transport, agriculture, aviation, education, and others. It helps for inclusive progress, leaving no community behind, and this is expanding the initial Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund that we have.

“This Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund unifies efforts, streamlines project delivery for maximum impact, it accelerates infrastructure development, sparking economic dynamism nationwide.

“The key objective of the fund is to invest in nationally critical projects in sectors that will promote growth, enhance local value addition through backward, forward, and parallel linkages, create employment opportunities, promote technological innovation, and promote exports.

“Potential sectors for focus, like I said, will be agriculture, energy technology, infrastructure, healthcare and education. However, these ones I’ve mentioned are just indicative of what we do.

“Then our goal is to actually establish an innovative infrastructure investment vehicle that we will use to attract and consolidate capital, serving as a driver for economic advancement. It is also part of our goals to execute strategic and meticulously chosen national infrastructure across several key-sectors, like coastal roads; the rail that we want to do, both southern and eastern rail; agricultural, spanning irrigation, storage, logistics, and cold chain and food security; ports and our airports; and also to guarantee Nigerians that we’ll secure the most advantageous arrangement in financing.

“So what is the strategic key focus for now? Like I said, we’ll focus more on road infrastructure, rail infrastructure, agricultural infrastructure, ports revitalization and aviation enhancement. We believe that this vehicle will be one of the major vehicles, major-thinking-outside-the-box solution to our infrastructure gap.

“We believe, hopefully by the special grace of Almighty God, that Mr. President will launch this fund after the Honorable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning has done the Supplementary Budget that will take care of all these critical projects that we want to go on to.

“So we’ll look forward to the next few months, the fund will be launched and then domiciled in Presidency as its precursor, which was the Presidential Infrastructure… This one is just expanding on that and then hopefully, in the next few years, we’ll be able to bridge the gap that we have in infrastructure and then we’ll lay a solid foundation through which the food security, industrialization and all other wonderful aims that we have, we’ll be able to be achieved. At the end of the day, now help our internal revenue mobilisation.”

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