Nigeria Needs to Invest $67 Billion in Infrastructure

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Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, needs to spend $67 billion on infrastructure development projects over the next four years, according to Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The West African nation must build refineries, improve transportation and invest in energy and information technology projects, she said in a speech read on her behalf at a conference in Lagos today.

“The budget alone cannot finance all these,” said Okonjo-Iweala, a former managing director of the World Bank. Nigeria “must forge partnerships with the states, the private sector, the donors and even our citizens.”

In transportation, Nigeria’s four “priority projects” requiring partnership are the second bridge planned on the Niger River, the expansion and upgrade of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja International Airport, and the Benin-Sagamu Expressway, the minister said.

Nigeria and the International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private-lending arm, have signed an agreement to examine financing of the second Niger bridge, the Washington-based IFC said in a statement handed to reporters today at the conference. The IFC has also signed a similar agreement with the government of the southern Cross River state to provide advisory services for a new public-private partnership to build a hospital, it said.

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