An Associate Fellow at the Centre for Infrastructure, Policy, Regulation and Advancement (CIPRA), Dr Ese Owie, has advocated for a cloning of the global practice of partnerships between the private sector and the Government to fast track infrastructure financing looking at the limitations of Nigerian banks.
Dr Owie was speaking on Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning.
With reference to a pension reserve of about 4 trillion naira, he called on pension regulators to find the best way to “engage with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and set out a clear regulation of how to invest these funds to finance infrastructure”.
He, however, noted that the Nigerian Pension Commission, as a regulator, “is to drive responsible investment because you have to balance the desire of our country to utilise the fund for infrastructure, with the need to also protect the fund for the retirees to draw upon when the time comes.”
Also speaking on the Business Programme, the Country Representative, International Institute for Investment Promotion, Mr Ogbonna Ukuku, noted that there was need for alternative funding of infrastructure because people all over the world are seeking ways to come out of normal buying and government bonds to areas where they can get higher profit. He noted that “when retirees get to the level when they want to start getting back their funds, the money that would have accrued to them would be able to sustain them at their retirement.”
They both praised recommendations reached at the just concluded World Pension Summit, Africa Special.
Financial analysts On Monday stressed the need for a smooth implementation of the ideas of the new governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, for the achievement of needed investment growth.
On Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning, the Country Representative International Institute for Investment promotion, Mr Ogbonna Ukuku and a financial market analyst, Mr Arinze Nwobu commended the new governor’s monetary policy stance.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure a successful implementation of the policies,” they said.
According to them, the money market, particularly the capital market, has a role to play in supporting development finance by keeping in touch with Small and Medium Enterprises, help them grow their businesses and encourage them to list on the Stock Exchange.
They further stressed that the physical point where the policies would be implemented must be ready to carry out the ideas.
Mr Ukuku said that change expected would be a gradual one, stressing the need for the policies to help ensure adequate financing of investments in some sectors of the economy that had not been explored. He cited the solid mineral exploration as one of the sectors that had not been explored.
“The apex bank should also look at how development finance institutions in Nigeria will be strengthened so that they will be able to fund the industries that have been lying fallow. There should be an effort to strike a balance in the trade imbalance that exist between Nigeria and other countries. More of what is done at the physical end determines the victory that you get when you are running an economy,” he said.
Mr Emefiele had said that there would be a gradual interest rate drop.
But Mr Nwobu said he had to be strategic about the plan to drop the interest rate as it would have effect in the money market.
Although Nigeria has emerged as a capable candidate for foreign investment, and has made some efforts in the right direction, a lot still has to be done.
The country director, International Institute for Investment Promotion Ogbonna Ukuku and the chairman, Deloitte Nigeria, Femi Abegunde are of the opinion that Nigeria and the rest of Africa can attract a greater share of global investment if a conducive business environment is created.
According to them, Nigeria must address major infrastructure challenges with a major focus on power generation.
They also advised the Federal Government to develop and promote its non-energy exports, which include manufacturing, knowledge-based services, and agriculture.
Mr Abegunde also added that “economic development does not just come like that but there has to be lots of discussions between the government and foreign investment”.
Mr Ukuku advised that there should be a foreign investment forum to create more awareness and ensure readiness.