The Federal Government has projected that as much as $5 billion could be attracted from foreign investors to improve the nation’s transportation and power infrastructure if the current regulatory restrictions on the sectors are removed.
Bloomberg quoted Chidi Onyia, one of the advisers to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as making this forecast yesterday.
Noting that the huge funding required by the sectors to optimize their efficiency cannot be readily provided by government, Onyia argued that one of the options open to government to explore remained the Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) arrangement through either private investment or concession.
He said:“The regulatory process needs to be slightly loosened up so there is opportunity for investors to come and function without undue interference.
“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,” the VP’s aide added.
Currently, the Federal Government is working on plans to concede some airports to provate investors, while deals for investments in rail transportation have been hampered due to laws that vest sole control of the sub sector to the Federal Government.
To tackle the rail transportation problem, a bill to liberalise participation in the sector is currently before the National Assembly.
This is even as the Federal Government is also planning to star a $5.8bn hydropower plant investment in the eastern Mambila region this year, after it agrees on loan terms with China’s Export-Import Bank.