New infrastructure plan to plug $2.3tn gap – Minister

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The Reviewed National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan has identified a $2.3tn gap and plans to ensure the country achieves 70 per cent infrastructure stock from the current 30-35 per cent by 2043.

The plan also prescribes an expenditure of $150bn annually over the next 15- 16 years to achieve this target.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, during a media parley in Abuja on Monday.

Agba said the new master plan provided the roadmap for building a world-class infrastructure that would guarantee sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.

He said his ministry, through the Infrastructure Department, had ensured an annual production of National Infrastructure Report to track the level of implementation and development on infrastructure across all sectors while also coordinating the review of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS:2021-2030) to assist in the reduction of road accident fatalities on Nigerian roads.

Agba noted that Nigeria’s budgetary processes were much more transparent and participatory now, as  all stakeholders, especially the citizens, were carried along and enabled to make input into the process.

“Nigeria recorded its best performance in the Open Budget Survey (OBS), scoring 45% in the latest 2021 survey for transparency, indicating an improvement by 24 points, a significant leap from the 21% achieved in the 2019 exercise,” he said.

The minister explained that the State Employment and Expenditure for Results  Project (2014-2020) had supported four states in Nigeria, thanks to the Federal Government.

“This actually began before the inception of our administration but ended two years after I was appointed Minister of State for Budget and National Planning. SEEFOR was a World Bank-funded Project in partnership with the European Union, designed for four Niger Delta States of Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers.”

He disclosed that the project involved a concessionary interest-free loan of $200m from the World Bank with a grant element of about $78.4m from the European Union.

He noted that it was aimed at enhancing opportunities for employment and access to socio- economic services, while improving public expenditure management systems in the participating states.

Agba said that through the Economic Growth Department of the Ministry, acting in collaboration with the World Bank, his ministry designed the above-named programme to provide support to the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory on some major result areas, including social issues and FADAMA Agriculture.

He pointed out that the programme document outlined a proposed Programme-for-Results operation of $750m to support the 36 states and the FCT in their efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable households as well as micro-enterprises in the country.

He also said that the Federal Government had, for the first time, launched a Multidimensional Poverty report, Situation Analysis for Children and Monitoring Child Poverty in Nigeria.

“The reports of these three studies will help in shaping policies and actions of government and all stakeholders towards addressing the socio-economic, nutrition and health challenges of the child,” he added.

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