Buhari approves SWF investment in CBN N15 trn infrastructure firm
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday said it has obtained the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari to set up an N15-trillion infrastructure development company with the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
The company to be named InfraCo PLC is expected to increase government investment in the country’s transport network, the bank said.
In a statement, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said the equity injection into the new initiative will over an initial five-year period.
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Emefiele has in a note in April said; “This fund will be utilised to support the Federal Government in building the transport infrastructure required to move agriculture products to processors, raw materials to factories, and finished goods to markets, as envisaged at the CBN Going for Growth Roundtable in March 2020,”
The development company will be co-owned by the central bank, the sovereign wealth fund and the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and will be managed independently.
In 2017, the government set up the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to boost credit to small-scale businesses that make up almost of half of the economy.
Now, the government wants to fix its crumbling roads and rail network to tackle decades of decay that has limited economic growth and made it hard to move agricultural and finished goods to markets.
Buhari has pledged to strengthen the agricultural sector, to reduce Nigeria’s costly food imports and diversify the economy away from an over-reliance on oil. But access to long-term funds in local currency has been a major hurdle.
Nigeria is currently investing in railway transportation with the help of loans from the China Eximbank to boost transportation and haulage system and reduce pressure on its road network.
-With Reuters report