For Nigeria to benefit more from the Africa Finance Corporation [AFC] infrastructure investment projects across the continent, the government needs to provide credit enhancement guarantees that would help mobilize private capital in transportation and energy sectors, The Guardian Nigeria News reported on April 3.
Already, the institution has a current investment profile of $1.6 in Nigeria out of a balance sheet of $8.6 billion to bridge the country’s huge infrastructure deficit, a challenge that is often blamed for its poor economic performance and low job-creating capacity.
The AFC noted that it has extended over $3 billion in credit facilities to Nigeria since inception. According to the President and Chief Executive Officer of AFC, Samaila Zubairu, because transport and energy sectors are areas that can easily attract private sector funding due to over 80 percent investment opportunity that exist in the sectors, government should invest less in the two sectors and provide investment enhancement in form of guarantee and safe mechanisms to woo private funding.
Zubairu, who recently spoke at a press briefing in Lagos, said the Nigerian government can invest more in health, security, education, sanitation and water among others.
“We had experience of government cancelling concessions, we have seen what happened at the Lekki expressway. People will be shy to do such an investment. So, the government should step up to say that if anything happens, we will compensate you. We want the government to focus on health, security and education for the future workforce because we need to invest now for the quality of the workforce that we seek,” Zubairu said.
Reviewing AFC’s performance, Zubairu said the corporation’s yearly profits increased by 26.6% to $209.7 million in 2021. Similarly, the company exceeded its $200 million mark for the first time in its 15-year history, from $165.5 million posted in the corresponding period in 2020. The corporation’s total assets rose by 16.3% to $8.56 billion.