by crossriverwatch admin
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has said that government will need to spend at least 65billion Dollars annually to achieve the infrastructure master plan target for the South South States.
The Governor who made this revelation in Calabar during the week while delivering a keynote speech to declare open a Zonal Validation workshop on Integrated Infrastructure Master plan for South South states said it is important that the master plan be functional since it aims at raising Nigeria’s infrastructure stock from its present 40% of the GDP to 70% of the GDP by 2043. “This will, require a huge investment and also implies that infrastructure spend would have to increase rapidly from the less than 3-5% of the GDP to an average of 9% over the 30 year period with an estimated 2% of the GDP spent on maintenance of infrastructure”.
The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Efiok Cobham reasoned that to achieve the target, the country needs to spend about 65 billion dollars annually in the next five years of public sector funds and also requires a significant input of private sector funds to meet the expected target. ‘This implies that the states vis-à-vis the six geopolitical zones have different starting points in line with their economic potentials and priorities of each zone so each zone needs to do its best to maximize it benefits from the master plan”.
Imoke said the state governors were given the opportunity to make inputs into the master plan be nominating representatives to the eleven technical committees set up for the purpose of working out the master plan and expressed confidence that the efforts of the state went far enough in contributing towards making the plan.
Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, the Minister for National Planning said at the occasion that an ambitious master plan for the improvement of the nation’s integrated infrastructure from its present 40% to 70% in the next thirty years, expected to cost USD 2.9 trillion is being validated by the National Planning Commission. He added that the master plan which has a time span of between 2013 to 2043 is aimed at accelerating infrastructural development in the country within the period.
“It goes without saying that the current infrastructural stock in the country is inadequate in meeting and supporting the economic activities of our ever increasing population therefore the master plan focuses on core infrastructure development including energy (power, oil and gas), transport, (roads, rails, ports and airports), housing, water and ICT”.
Dr. Usman who was represented by Barrister Fidelis Ugbo, the Secretary of the National Planning Commission said the economy cannot grow at the required rate, create jobs and reduce poverty to an appreciable level because of decrepit and inadequate infrastructure both at the national and state levels thus the need to significantly improve on it. “The implications for expanding demographic imbalance are grave with teeming youth population which is not economically engaged and commercially active with the current state of infrastructure”.
Dr. Olugbenga Adegun, the Director, Infrastructure of the National Planning Commission who presented the draft of the master plan said the frame work for the master plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council on 21st November 2012 and the project development structure for the master plan inaugurated on 31st January 2013.
He listed the expected benefits from the master plan to include efficient allocation of resources, robust framework for infrastructural, development and enhanced economic growth.
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