Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the sum of $166 billion would be required to address Nigeria’s energy, transport and infrastructure needs in the next five years.
Speaking at the House of Representatives public hearing on Nigerian Railway Authority bill and National Transport Commission bill on Monday, the Minister added that the nation’s infrastructure deficit in the last 30 years is over $3.05 trillion.
He disclosed that arrangements have already been concluded by the government and General Electric for the commercialisation of Lagos-Kano railway project.
“Transport infrastructure alone needs a whopping $50.9 billion in five years to cover the current gap in the sector at an average of $10.2 billion per year. Currently the ratio of funding in the sector between the public and private is 9:1. This constituted a major disincentive to private sector participation in the industry,” the Minister said.
“In addition, it is considered imperative to intimate this Committee that full government ownership and management of these agencies had inherent restrictions for third party funding, undue government interferences; burdensome bureaucratic structures and …bloated work force, amongst others,” he added.
Privatisation of the railway sector would conflict with public interest, Amaechi noted, adding that the government is working to ensure efficiency, sustainability, competitiveness and profitability in the sector.
“…Governments all over the world have realised that it is not best suited in ownership and management of businesses and as such considered it imperative to shift from purely government to public private partnership (PPP),” he explained.
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