Private Sector Operators Urged to Support Infrastructure Funding

Private Sector Operators Urged to Support Infrastructure Funding

The Co-Chief Executive Officer of AVA Capital Group, Mr. Efe Shaire, has stressed the need for private sector operators to support government in bridging the infrastructural gap in the country.  The AVA Group boss stated this while speaking to journalists in Lagos against the  backdrop of  PwC’s Nigeria Economic Outlook 2024, which showed uncertainty regarding a significant financial commitment from the government for the enhancement of its predominantly inadequate infrastructure.

According to him,   private sector operators need to support the funding of infrastructure through partnership, new products and other initiatives.

He disclosed  that in order  support  such funding, AVA Global Asset Managers Limited,  which is asset management firm arm of the group,   is raising N20 billion under its N200 billion   Infrastructure Fund (IF) programme.

Shaire explained that AVA IF seeks to address the infrastructural deficits in Nigeria through the objective provision of institutional capital into infrastructure development.

 “The overall objective of the AVA IF is to spur socio-economic impact and unlock the development of the Nigerian economy. The purpose of the fund is to serve as a new source of capital for infrastructure projects, promoting financing for infrastructure projects in Nigeria and the resulting socio-economic effects. The Fund is supported majorly by private sector monies and offers a sustainable platform for new kinds of investors that traditionally do not have access to these markets to invest billions in infrastructure projects,” he said.

He disclosed that the fund, which is first in the series, would close on March 6, 2024, noting that money raised would be invested in power, roads, agricultural processing, telecommunications and other sectors.

According to him,  AVA  IF is a 10-year-life cycle targeted towards infrastructure space for qualified investors.

He noted  that before now, others operators had  come up with the infrastructure funds  driven by the changes in the pension industry, following changes in terms of new policies from PenCom, encouraging a lot of PFAs  to  invest in long-term infrastructure plans.

“It’s at the back of these reforms that we thought that we also need to ensure that we are able to create instruments that pension funds and other institutional investors can as well invest in given the fact  that  they now have their new regulation,” he said.

Shaire  stressed that  infrastructural problems cannot be solved only from the government initiatives, adding that the private sector should be able to also contribute to the conversation by working together to ensure cooperation with the public sector to accelerate the development of the infrastructure base while improving the country’s productivity.

“Our country is almost a mono product economy because of crude oil and there is no way we are going to move away from that and get foreign exchange from other sectors without making them productive and solving infrastructure problems. There is the need for private sector participation. Ava Global Asset Managers has the expertise, experience and what it takes to contribute to the infrastructural development of the country and the floating of the fund is a very good way to begin with. We are very confident of a successful outing,” he said.

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