By Emmanuel Elebeke
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, says that infrastructure remains a critical element in the growth of any economy.
The Minister said this yesterday, during his meeting with a delegation of the management of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, in Abuja.
The Minister, said the decision by the present administration to allocate more resources for infrastructure in the 2016 budget is reasonable, since the infrastructure is the bedrock upon whih the economy can grow and also create an enabling environment for private sector to grow.
“Infrastructure is very necessary to grow the economy of a nation. There is need to fix infrastructure in order to create an environment for private sector to grow,” he added.
He explained further that more than 60% of the investment needed for the infrastructure development in the country is to be realized from the private sector, adding that government will prepare projects that are bankable so that the private sector can invest in them.
Accordingly, the Minister reiterated the desire of the Federal Government to build a stronger relationship with The Infrastructure Bank and create an environment for the private sector to thrive by intensifying its collaboration with the bank, pointing out that the collaboration with TIB was very important with government’s effort at diversifying the nation’s economy from crude oil.
Udoma also said that there is need to put Nigeria back to work which can only be achieved by increasing production in Agriculture and encouraging Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Earlier, the CEO of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB), Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, told the Minister that, TIB has been a partner with the former National Planning Commission (NPC) in the last two years, and actively participated in the development of National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) and has also been a key stakeholder in the implementation process and supporting the infrastructure related initiatives in the country.