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Osinbajo unveils National Council on Infrastructure

The new National Council on Infrastructure has been unveiled by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday.

During the unveiling, Osinbajo said the move would bridge the nation’s infrastructure gaps while widening the frontiers of Public-Private sector collaboration.

This was according to a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, titled ‘Osinbajo notes progress in infrastructure, inaugurates new council with public-private collaboration.’

Prof. Osinbajo, who formally inaugurated the Council during a virtual meeting that he presided over on Tuesday, stated, “For efficient and effective implementation of infrastructure projects, the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan recommended the establishment of the National Council on Infrastructure and its Technical Working Group.”

He noted that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd) National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan was developed to provide “an integrated view of infrastructure development in Nigeria with clear linkages across key sectors and identifies enablers for successful implementation in line with the current economic realities.

“The success of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan will depend, to a large extent, on the establishment of a strong implementation mechanism and framework that promotes performance and accountability.”

He revealed that the NIIMP takes stock of existing infrastructure and is aimed at raising Nigeria’s infrastructure stock to at least 70 per cent by the year 2043.

“A well-coordinated and strategic approach will be required to harness private resources to increase the stock of Nigeria’s infrastructure to the desired level by the year 2043,” Osinbajo said.

He added that the National Council on Infrastructure is to provide policy direction on infrastructure matters and drive the creation and sustenance of the expected synergy and linkages between the public and the private sector to enhance the implementation of the Infrastructure Master Plan, while the Technical Working Group is to provide guidance to the Council and advise on all infrastructure related matters.

He further cited the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road (funded through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund); the construction and upgrading of about 5,000 km of major road projects across the country through the Sukuk bond, as evidence of the Federal Government’s deliberate and massive investment in road, rail and power infrastructure for rapid economic development.

Prof. Osinbajo said the regime “is investing more than $2bn in Distribution and Transmission through the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative, the Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Plan, the CBN-financed Transmission-Distribution Interface Programme and the recently approved $500m World Bank DISREP program for the Distribution segment.”

Similarly, the VP noted that the Federal Government launched the N15tn Infrastructure Corporation (InfraCorp Nigeria) in 2021 and the President also signed Executive Order 7, which had informed the right policy framework and created some opportunities for Public-Private Partnership in infrastructure development.

The private sector, he added, “is expected to play an increasingly important role either directly or in collaboration with the government through Public-Private Partnership with the Government providing a supportive environment with stable and transparent policies, rules and regulations.”

Private sector members of the new Council include the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed; and a representative of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Tasiu Wudil, both of whom were in attendance, also welcomed the inauguration of the Council, to which they are also members.

The Vice President is Chair of the National Council on Infrastructure, and members include representatives of the State Governors; Federal Ministers, heads of government agencies and members of the private sector.

They include the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Works, Babatunde Fashola, SAN; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo; Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Others include the President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed; National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, John Udeagbala; the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr. Babatunde Irukera; Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji; among others.

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, through its Infrastructure Delivery Coordinating Unit, will serve as the Secretariat for the Council.

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