25 June 2021
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• Puts Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit at N15tn
The Federal Government on Thursday said it was investing $1bn on the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, and Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.
It disclosed this at the official opening of the 51st Annual Conference of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, adding that over N15tn would be required to bridge the country’s infrastructure deficit.
In his keynote address at the conference, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, spoke on how the Federal Government had been intervening in some selected sectors.
He said, “On roads, the government created the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, investing over a billion dollars in three flagship projects: the Lagos-lbadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, and Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.
“The government also approved Executive Order 7, which essentially mobilises private investment through a tax credit scheme to encourage the private sector to invest in road construction for tax rebates.
“Similarly, the implementation of the Highway Development and Management Initiative is ongoing. This is a PPP (public private partnership) programme to mobilise at first over a trillion naira in private investment for the development and maintenance of 1,963km of 12 roads.”
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the development of critical infrastructures such as the provision and maintenance of new roads and bridges, airports, rail infrastructure, among others, had salutary impacts on the real estate sector.
“It is therefore in realisation of this fact that the Federal Government has taken deliberate steps to bridge our infrastructural deficit, which is estimated to be in excess of N15tn,” the minister, who was represented by an official of his ministry, Aisha Mohammed, stated.
He said the government understood that real estate development was hinged on land and was making conscious efforts with respect to the accessibility, affordability and security of land and titles.
Fashola said, “Between July 2018 and May 2021, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has processed and issued 4,628 Certificates-of-Occupancy and 2,230 consents to secondary land transactions.
“These titles are used by holders to access investible loans to start new businesses or grow existing ones, thus expanding the economy and creating jobs for our teaming youths.”
The President and Chairman of Council, NIESV, Okas Wike, called for improvement in the security situation across the country, stressing that this was having severe negative impact on the real estate sector.
He said the Federal Government must understand that the implications of the insecurity situation on business activities in Nigeria could not be overemphasised, as widespread insecurity was hampering business investments.