All infrastructure projects now PPP driven ― FG

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that Nigeria’s debt instruments have remained attractive to both local and international investors because the country does not default in repayment.

The minster stated this at the just concluded #NES27 held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

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She said, ‘‘We are indeed concerned about paying back loans, if you look at the records, you will find out that Nigeria has been consistent in paying both local and foreign loans and that is why whenever we go to the market,  they receive us well because we have been faithful in our repayment.

 ‘‘We do not just put numbers and borrow, this is a work that was done to determine what is required in terms of expenditure and  what we  expect to generate in terms of revenue and the gap that is not financed by other financing  items is debt.

‘‘And then we have a debt management strategy that guides how we borrow. So, borrowing is carefully calibrated to meet the debt service obligations when they fall due.

 On how impactful, she said, ‘‘If you see the kind of infrastructure that is being deployed you will see it physically. When you build a road and the travel time of traveler reduces, that is time saved and money in the pockets of people.  It is also evident in the quality of roads where you have less accident and those are lives saved.  So, there are so many impacts that you cannot count them in terms of monetarily terms but in terms of improving quality of peoples’ lives and easy of doing business.

On the issue of investment not getting to the right people, Ahmed said, ‘‘President believe that we must be accountable and  transparent for our actions and also if you see what is happening, people are actually being held responsible for actions they took that are not supposed to be taken. Now, people know there are consequences for their action. However, I also believe there should be a reward system.’’

On why capital why capital expenditures does not rise at the same pace with revenue, the Minister said, ‘‘the nature of capital expenditure is because most of them are multi-years projects, even when you deploy revenues, they do not come in one year. It comes in the business productivity and taxes.’’

During the two day summit, there were five thematic areas looked at  in the overall theme focused on Securing Our Future  with Fierce Urgency of Now.

Under the sub thematic theme High and Sustained Growth, the summit focused on using data to ascertain growth and progress we are already making, ensuring bother is strong investment in the human demographics and infrastructure areas, taking the advantages and opportunities around trade and investment, investing in Micro, Small and medium Enterprise Groups which are very significant to job creation and socio-economic growth not just at the federal level but local and international levels.

The summit also talked about there being strong accountability in terms of all seen the impact being made in various investments from the private and public sectors.

Within the area of quality of life, discussion centred on the urgency in investing in women and children demographics, in particular looking at the area of education and health across different segments of country and taking advantages presented   by digital to provide opportunities for not just educational development but lives   and livelihoods and also the opportunities digital uses to impact other areas of health.

 Within the area of national security, there was strong emphasis on national security, creating an overall quality of life and how it also impact economic development as a whole. 

It talked about improving quality of citizen’s engagement, working along with marginalized groups across the country and investing in knowledge and engagement required to have a long term view in looking at security issues across the nation.

Regarding political economy, it talked about   the political economic structures and impacts it has in the overall national economic growth and the need to invest and encourage young people to venture into politics.

The summit further  talked about digital transformation, which cuts across all sectors and will be instrumental in ensuring implementation and data driven implementation and accountability across all levels, job creation and scaling of case studies.

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