By Kingsley Adegboye & Gabriel Olawale
AGAINST the backdrop of the huge infrastructure deficit of the country which requires N3 trillion annually to close the gap, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, has called for attention to the project finance option as a way of developing Nigeria’s infrastructure projects.
In her opening address at the just concluded two-day specialised workshop in Lagos organised by NIQS, the president of the institute, Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, said the approach whereby government at all levels finance their capital projects from fiscal budgets with little or no support from the private sector, is not sustainable given the present economic situation of the country arising from falling oil prices, high exchange rate, double digit inflation rate, unstable foreign exchange rate, low budget performance and liquidity constraints on the fiscal budget. The theme of the workshop was “Finance and Development of Capital Projects-Emerging Solutions”.
According to Iyortyer, “There is need for us as a people, and specially as professionals to consider emerging solutions to these challenges and to benchmark other countries such as China and Dubai which have had success stories in this area. As recently as two months ago, a forum was convened in Johannesburg, South Africa by some captains of construction and infrastructure in collaboration with South African government to participate in a series of strategic debates on infrastructure development in the sub-Saharan region.
“The private sector is expected to become increasingly involved in the creation of financing solutions to develop Nigeria’s failed infrastructure. Progressively, project finance is being recognised as the best method of developing capital projects in Nigeria despite the associated risks and challenges of volatile economic activities.