Govt plans to establish infrastructure fund for transportation, others



The Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has disclosed that the ministry is currently looking at creating a dedicated infrastructure fund and other public private partnership arrangements to fast-track the nation’s industrialization.

The Minister, who explained that the ministry has concluded arrangements to attract with domestic and foreign private capital to bring it to fruition, said the fund, would be focusing on transport, petroleum, power, works and housing.

He however, added that the ministry would exercise caution while attracting partners and seeking investors, especially for sectors that would benefit from technical know-how, capital and access to markets.

Speaking during the 2016 KPMG alumni cocktail, held in Lagos recently, the minister identified infrastructure development as the major factor that would accelerate the nation’s industrialization, noting that improving the nation’s infrastructure would enable Nigerian businesses become more competitive for both local and export market.

He added that the role of the private sector was critical in creating, implementing and sustaining the right enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“The singular most important enabler of industrialization may well be infrastructure both hard and soft infrastructure. Improving our infrastructure helps our businesses become competitive for both local and export markets. Partnering with other ministries to raise the appropriate funds to improve our infrastructure is a key priority.

“Partnering with domestic and foreign Private Capital. We’re currently looking at creating a dedicated Infrastructure Fund and other ‘Public Private Partnership’ arrangements – focusing on Petroleum, Transport, Power, Works and Housing,” he added.

On the area of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) development, Enelama explained that the sector is strategic for any country interested in job creation and inclusive growth, noting that government would enhance the development of policies that would spur SMEs growth, accelerate training and increase financing in Nigeria.

“The development of SMEs is important and strategic. How do we remove obstacles that hinder businesses from reaching their potential?, Enhancing the development of policies that spur growth, accelerate training and increase financing.

“As part of the Federal Government’s 500 billion naira Social Protection programme for 2016, over two million traders, farmers and artisans will receive micro-credit, through a fund to be managed by the Bank of Industry.”

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