InfraCo May Be Game Changer for Nigeria on Infrastructure Development

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•Right appointment critical to company’s success, say experts

Tobi Soniyi

With the right appointment, the recently established infrastructure company by President Muhammadu Buhari which is set to take off with an initial seed capital of N1 trillion may well be a game changer for Nigeria’s development efforts. The take off funds is to be provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Pension Funds, and Africa Finance Corporation.

According to financial experts: “It is a great idea to have such a company dedicated purposely for infrastructure advancement. However to achieve the lofty idea behind its establishment, the key to its success is getting the right appointments in place to run it. A person with the right skills set, and well verse in infrastructure development and innovative skills to raise funding along side a team equally competent and focused.”

They further emphasised that with the right appointment to lead the company, the N1 trillion seed capital may well rise in value to over N15 trillion if it’s well structured and managed.
The infrastructure company is expected to be wholly infrastructure focused and to help facilitate the development of critical infrastructure development in the country.

The company will also be able to issue bonds to meet critical financing needs.
Going by the statement announcing its establishment issued by Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant on New Media to President Buhari,, the company is designed to deliver infrastructure from farm gates to the market.

The President had in a follow-up tweet on Twitter, disclosed that InfraCo will be one of the premier infrastructure finance entities in Africa and will be wholly dedicated to Nigeria’s infrastructure development.
THISDAY checks reveal the model of the company which was developed with concept designs from the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, is expected to play a crucial role in reinvigorating the infrastructure growth across all sectors of national economy.

Buhari noted that the board of the InfraCo will be chaired by the CBN Governor, while the board will include the MD of NSIA; President of Africa Finance Corporation, representatives of Nigerian Governors Forum and Ministry of Finance, and three independent directors from the private sector.

The Infra-Co will finance public asset development, facilitate infrastructure rehabilitation and reconstruction and also drive investments in cutting-edge infrastructure projects for roads, rail, power and other key sectors.
The company will also be free to go to the capital market to raise money.

The Buhari government has often lamented that it inherited dilapidated infrastructure when it came to office in 2015.
The President had since continued to invest in railway and roads construction which are considered critical infrastructures needed to kick start the nation’s economy.
The federal government under Buhari is exploring innovative ways to expand investments to stimulate recovery.
In a report it released last year’s November, Moody’s Investors Service said
Nigeria required at least $3 trillion over 30 years to close its infrastructure deficit.