Osinbajo: savings, foreign capital needed for infrastructure

The Federal Government on Thursday stressed the need for mobilisation of domestic savings and foreign capital to finance the country’s needs in infrastructure, agriculture, housing SMEs and other services.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said this in a keynote address delivered at the 2019 FMDQ Nigerian Capital Markets Conference in Lagos.

He said Nigeria required more capital to grow, develop and attain its potential.

“We need to mobilise domestic savings and capital as well as attract the necessary foreign capital to finance our needs in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, mining, industry, housing, SMEs,” he said.

Other sectors where he said such development was also needed include information and communication technology (ICT), transportation and other services.

Osinbajo, who was represented by acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, said the country needed to mobilise more funds to address its needs.

The vice-president recalled that an African Development Bank (AfDB) report on Nigeria’s Infrastructure Plan in 2013 estimated that Nigeria would need to invest about $350 billion in 10 years to meet up with its peers.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was doing everything possible to close the gap in infrastructure deficit.

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Osinbajo explained that this was being done through direct expenditure and by incentives given to private investors – domestic and foreign – to invest in the critical sectors of the economy.

“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017-2020) has a major objective of building a globally competitive economy through investment in infrastructure, improvement in business environment and promotion of digital-led growth.

“No doubt, this objective requires fresh and adequate capital,” he said.

According to him, the need to attract capital is further underscored by the ERGP’s initiatives, such as the promotion of innovation and technology-led industries, encouragement of private equity and venture capital players.

Them vice-president added that government had also issued green, infrastructure and Diaspora bonds to sustain finance.

“Between February 2017 and November 2018, we have explored the international market to raise capital by issuing series of Eurobonds and a Diaspora bond in June, 2017.

“This approach to diversifying our sources of capital has assisted in making our country a destination of capital and further deepening our capital market…”

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