Stakeholders in the financial market have underscored the need for the government to work out modalities on how to boost investment in infrastructure through the creation of activities that would stimulate effective long-term fundraising from the nation`s capital market.
At a webinar on infrastructure organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the experts said Nigeria is currently in need of foreign direct investments (FDIs) to grow the real sector and accelerate infrastructure development across priority sectors.
They submitted that efforts at attracting FDIs to grow the economy may not yield the expected results unless the government and relevant agencies create a strong legal framework.
An economist and Divisional Head, Economic Research and Policy Management, SEC, Afolabi Olowookere, stated that the government needed to focus on the capital market where long-term funds could be raised to finance infrastructure and other capital projects.
He said: “We need a lot of infrastructure in Nigeria currently, and we need to raise long-term funds because we cannot develop infrastructure with short-term funds.”
Olowookere stressed the need to harmonise and coordinate existing infrastructure, noting that Sub-Saharan African is the worst in infrastructure deficiency in the world.
The economist pointed out that the Nigerian capital market presents the best platform for financing infrastructure but lamented that it is bedeviled with problems that render it largely unpredictable.
“Financing infrastructure is fundamental in Nigeria’s development. We have recognised that the government cannot do it alone. We need to get private capital functioning along with government resources,” he said.
Managing Director of Chapel Hill Denham, Bolaji Balogun said Nigeria needs to deepen access to the financial market to drive infrastructural development. He pointed out that Nigeria’s infrastructure sector is grossly underdeveloped and has limited access to social services and significantly increased the cost of production and trade.