The Federal Government could invite as much as $5bn of annual investment to improve the country’s creaking transportation and power networks once regulatory restrictions are removed, an adviser to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chidi Onyia, has said.
According to him, the government lacks the means to fix gaps in the country’s infrastructure and ventures with private investors or concessions are the best way forward.
“The regulatory process needs to be slightly loosened up so there is opportunity for investors to come and function without undue interference,” Bloomberg quoted Onyia as saying on Friday.
The country is only able to transmit about 70 per cent of the power it produces because of a weak power-line network.
“Transmission is still wholly in government hands, but it is a huge space for investors to come in, if the legal and regulatory framework is put in place,” Onyia added.
Africa’s largest economy is turning to private investors as it struggles to expand their participation in infrastructure beyond the sale of power generators and distributors that have taken place.
The government is still working on plans to sell concessions at the four biggest airports, while deals for investments in transportation have been hampered by laws that vest sole control in the state.
A bill currently before lawmakers seeks to break the state’s stranglehold on railroads and allow private investment.
Years of neglect have cut freight-rail capacity, with most goods carried on worn-out and congested roads in the continent’s most populous nation.
The Federal Government is planning to start building a $5.8bn hydropower plant in the eastern Mambila region this year, after it agrees on loan terms with China’s Export-Import Bank.