By Kingsley Adegboye
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen has called for the amendment of the Company and Allied Matters Act to allow companies to contribute 3–5 per cent of their pre-tax income into an Infrastructure Development Fund, IDF.
Onolememen spoke during the 2013 International All Africa Youth Reunion/Camp which held in Abuja over the weekend where he delivered a goodwill message.
He noted that, Nigeria like many other African countries has a huge infrastructure deficit.
According to him; “The infrastructure deficit is large and exists in almost every sector. For the road sector alone, we have estimated that in order to adequately support economic growth at current rate and meet vision 20:20:20; we need to be investing on the construction of at least 14,000 kilometres of new roads annually for the next 7 years. These will require the average annual expenditure on roads to increase sevenfold to nearly 750 billion.”
Arc Onolememen while listing oil-for-infrastructure scheme as one strategy of financing infrastructure development (currently being adopted in Angola), he called for collaboration between the executive and legislature arms of government so as to take Nigeria to the next level.
The Minister of Works also buttressed the relevance of Public Private Partnership in pushing infrastructure development in the road sector as he disclosed that; “studies have shown that the level of traffic on many roads in Nigeria can provide adequate returns to investors.”
“User pays principle will inevitably see its way into the infrastructure sector if we are to attract private investments in the development of infrastructure. Evidence has shown that Nigerians are prepared to pay for good service. We must continue to innovate and build sustainability in our quest to bridging the huge infrastructure gap in our country and continent.”