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By Joseph Oso

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has raised alarm over the poor state of infrastructural development and how it will negatively affect the country’s economy if not being properly handled.

President and chairman of Governing council IoD, Dr.Ije Jidenma, in her address during the institute Research and Advocacy committee program, a hybrid event held in Lagos stated that without any atom of doubt, the banes of the country’s economic development has been poor infrastructure.

She said ‘’ The state of our infrastructure, apart from adversely affecting our nation’s economic development, has badly affected the social environment of our country. It has also negatively affected the standard of living and affected the standard of living of Nigerians thereby affecting our overall psychological sense of well being.

In virtually all sectors: power, transportation, communication, aviation, education, health, and so on, the absence of critical and needed infrastructure has affected the deliverables and Nigerians have not enjoyed a robust system that could deliver the best of service to us’’.

Jidenma also cited that the gap in infrastructural development has affected the country’s growth route. Though there have been many conversations around infrastructural development and several policies developed by government at all levels to address the gap, success has definitely not been achieved.

‘’Despite numerous plans by successive government and regimes to address the infrastructure shortage in Nigeria, the combinations of paucity of funds, poor implementation, poor maintenance culture, corruption, weak fiscal regime and sometimes policy summersaults have worked together to ensure that we are unable to achieve our goals as far as infrastructural development is concerned’’.

She stated that the nation’s infrastructure deficit is estimated at $100 billion annually, a figure that is 100 percent above our annual infrastructural budget in the past few years.

“According to the African Development Bank report, a country’s infrastructure spend should be a minimum of 6% of GDP in order to attain a reasonable level of sustainable development.

However, over the past decade, Nigeria’s infrastructure spending has been less than 5percent of GDP and much lower than the amount committed by other developing countries. With such a gap, it becomes difficult for the Nigerian government to adequately address the country’s infrastructural needs’’ She added.

The IoD boss also expressed the need for the government to show more commitment to the judicious utilization of available funds.

She said ‘’we need to make our economy very competitive in order to attract investments which will help improve the economy and ensure that government revenue is improved.

A more robust infrastructure development will no doubt improve the business environment and also attract the needed indigenous and foreign investment in the economy by the private sector’’.

In his keynote address, President ECOWAS Bank for investment and development (EBID), George Agyekum Donkor who was represented by Director of Research and strategic planning department (EBID) MacDonald Goanue said infrastructure creates an avenue for economic growth and development.

He said ” From electricity, down to transportation, energy, water, and so on, if all of these are fixed and a sustainable and friendly environment are made available, then it paves way for a robust economy”.

Sayai also noted that the Nigeria government requires over 30Billion dollars in infrastructure which is huge but also will be impactful to deliver services and also grow the economy.
Expressing that if the infrastructural problem in Nigeria is improved, it means the industrialization of the region is improved.

‘’ If the infrastructure situation of Nigeria is improved, that means the industrialization of this region is improved.
This is because Nigeria remains the center of the African sub Sahara growth”.

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