The Director-General, Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Michael Ohiani says Nigeria is yet to upscale its infrastructure stock to the level that will drive the economy as expected.Ohiani said this while delivering a Keynote Address virtually at the 2022 WorldStage Economic Summit(WES) with the theme : ‘Nigeria’s Economy: Bridging the Infrastructural Gap” on Wednesday in Lagos.According to him, while the major problem facing the economy is the lack of adequate infrastructure, the government alone cannot afford to provide the funding necessary to achieve the infrastructure up to the level needed.Ohiani said the desired level would stimulate the much needed economic growth.“It is a known fact that infrastructure drives economic growth and development of any nation.“Our nation has over the years, produced several development plans, but unfortunately, we have not yet upscaled our infrastructure stock to the level which will drive the economy as expected,” he said.According to him, the Federal Government is totally committed to the development of infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).Ohiani said this is evidenced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s continuous commitment, as provided in the 2021-2025 National Development plan (NDP) which seeks to encourage more private sector participation in National infrastructure development.He said: “The NDP has a projected N348.1 trillion, with the entire government of the federation programmed to provide about N49 trillion.“The remaining amount is programmed to be provided by the private sector.“This has been the trending truth over the years, that the revenue to our government cannot meet the needed infrastructure quantum and speed.”The acting director-general noted that the ICRC Act of 2005 came into existence to enable private sector participation in the development and operation of critical infrastructure, which was hitherto the obligation of the government to provide.Ohiani emphasised that the country needed to have more investments and innovative ideas on infrastructure development using already proven and trusted techniques from around the world.Ohiani also said that there was need for more commitment from the private sector towards the actualisation of those goals.He said that in the past 14 years, ICRC has gotten Federal Executive Council approval for more than 50 projects, amounting to more than N3 trillion in private sector funds and currently providing regulatory guidance on more than 200 projects.“As part of the ICRC mandate, we gazette and publish a list of PPP eligible projects annually, so that prospective investors will know when and what to invest in.“As at May 2022, there are 77 post-contract PPP projects under implementation at the ICRC Projects Disclosure Portal (www.ppp.icrc.gov.ng or www.icrc.gov.ng).“The portal is the first disclosure portal in the world, established in collaboration with the world bank.“As at May 2022, there are 197 pre-contract projects at Development and Procurement phases at the ICRC Website a between 2010 and 2021.“Also, under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC, the Nigerian government has approved PPP projects worth more than 8 billion dollars.“As at May 2022, the ICRC has issued 128 Outline Business Case Compliance Certificates, which show their bankability.“In the same period, the ICRC has issued 50 Full Business Case Compliance Certificates to date,” he said.According to him, the continuing success of PPP’s around the world and even in Africa shows us that government can share in the responsibility of providing infrastructure given the right guidelines, and within the regulatory framework provided by the ICRC establishment Act 2005.The acting director-general noted that government had laid the foundation in the ICRC act, saying, “It is now time for the private sector to take advantage of this huge opportunity to invest and develop critical infrastructure through private finance initiatives”.He said ICRC is opened to investors and could be reached for advice and guidance in the development of PPP projects.Ohiani commended WorldStage for organising such forum to brainstorm on the challenges causing infrastructural gap in the country and contributing in proferring solutions to it.In his welcome address, Mr Segun Adeleye, Executive Officer (CEO), WorldStage said that the country is currently facing huge infrastructural gap that has hindered the desire to exploit its rich natural and human resources to stimulate development.Adeleye stated that Nigeria was ranked number 116 competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries in the 2019 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, largely due to the poor state of its infrastructure.He noted that the money needed to attain the level of infrastructure desired will not come from the Federal budget ; hence, the approval for the creation of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.The CEO said that the country is availed with huge potential in the PPP option by ICRC to address infrastructure deficit.A panel discussion led by Mr Dare Mayowa, Publisher, Global Financial Digest resolved that Nigerians must recruit the right leaders that will make various institutions work effectively and efficiently ; hence fill the infrastructural gap.Other discussants at the panel were Mr Soji Adeleye, CEO Alfecity Institution, Mrs Maureen Chigbo, Publisher, Realnews Managazine, Dr Joy Ogaji, CEO, Association of Power Generation Companies, Nigeria. 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Dr Oluseye Ajuwon, a lecturer of Economics at the University of Lagos, has charged the Federal Government to maintain good governance that ensures public infrastructures are well protected, managed, and maintained.Ajuwon gave the advice at the 2022 WorldStage Economic Summit (WES) with the theme: “Nigeria’s Economy: Bridging The Infrastructural Gap” on Wednesday in Lagos.According to him, true patriotic leadership is most needed in ensuring sustainable infrastructure development.Ajuwon said that infrastructure which include buildings, roads, power, transportation, communication, healthcare, education, water supply, sanitation, among others remain the basic physical and organisational structures and facilities.These, he explained were needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.Ajuwon, also a researcher, said that infrastructure remains the underlying foundation or basic framework upon which the economy of a country is built.According to him, infrastructure is key to economic development, particularly as it relates to the construction, management, and regulation of infrastructure projects.The lecturer said that the underdevelopment of physical infrastructures had been the major constraints confronting the Nigeria economic and social development over the years.Ajuwon said those critical infrastructure gradually decayed over time due to neglect.“The poor performance and inefficiency in the operation of the nation’s infrastructure has been described as major constraints to industrial performance and productivity growth.“As a result, the average growth rate of the national economy has stagnated and stunted around five per cent for many years because the state of our infrastructure does not encourage investment, ” he said.According to him, government, investors, lenders, and all stakeholders in project development must commit to providing pragmatic and sustainable infrastructure that meet international best standards.Ajuwon advised that on-going and future developments in the country should be closely monitored while ensuring that the projects are awarded on merits, and practical timelines are given to contractors and strictly followed for completion.The researcher urged the government to continue its fight against corruption, address excessive spending in governance and direct saved resources to providing infrastructures for the overall growth of the economy.He maintained that government facilities should be appropriately managed and put into effective and efficient use while abandoned projects should be resuscitated, and less impactful projects, where necessary, should be curtailed.“It is expected that Public Private Partnership (PPP) could be a viable avenue for securing the private partnership in the management of these projects.“Credit facilities for infrastructural projects should be made easily accessible with minimum interest rates, as this will serve as a boost to investment and PPP in infrastructural projects. “The government could also consider giving tax incentives, developing residential housing estates around the project locations, amongst other things.“This will drive human traffic to those project areas and make the project more viable, practicable, feasible, and appealing to the private sectors,” he said.In his welcome address, Mr Segun Adeleye, Executive Officer (CEO), WorldStage, said that the country is currently facing huge infrastructural gap that had hindered the desire to exploit its rich natural and human resources to stimulate development.Adeleye said that Nigeria was ranked number 116 competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries in the 2019 Edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, largely due to the poor state of its infrastructure.He noted that the money needed to attain the level of infrastructure desired would not come from the Federal budget; hence the approval for the creation of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.According to Adeleye, the country is being availed with huge potential in the PPP option by ICRC to address infrastructure deficit.“Unlike government funding, private financing sources portend an uncapped and near-limitless pool of funding for investments in infrastructure through banks, bonds, among others.“The focus of the WES 2022 is to examine the infrastructural gap challenges and proffer solutions that would significantly help at improving prospects of achieving the nation’s economic potential,” he said.A panel discussion led by Mr Dare Mayowa, Publisher, Global Financial Digest, resolved that Nigerians must recruit the right leaders that would make various institutions work effectively and efficiently.This, he noted would fill the infrastructural gap in the country.Other discussants at the panel were; Mr Soji Adeleye, CEO Alfecity Institution, Mrs Maureen Chigbo, Publisher, Realnews Managazine, Dr Joy Ogaji, CEO, Association of Power Generation Companies, Nigeria.
A Professor and Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Prof. Solomon Bello on Wednesday explained reasons behind poverty within the some Christians community and the steps to take to escape poverty.
In a statement signed by Mr Segun Adeleye, Coordinator, Zonal Redemeers Men’s Fellowship in Lagos, Bello was quoted to have said this while delivering the lead paper at the Business Summit of the Redemeers Men’s Fellowship of the LP71, Divine Connection Zone.
The submit has the theme: ‘For Christians Not Be Poor, To Avoid Conflicts And Financial Crises’.
Bello, Pastor in Charge of Lagos province 71 (LP71), described prosperity as “a birthright of Christians while poverty is a curse”.
The cleric, said, “Poverty is not for any true child of God. As long as men continue to sin against God, they will continue to struggle.”
Bello, who is also a lecturer at the University of Lagos, listed the major factors that brought about poverty as sin, laziness, curses, ingratitude, devourer, extravagance, and procrastination.
“Cursed and blessings are the results of the obedience or lack of it on the part of a man.
The Bible informs us that poverty is a curse. It was the resultant effect of man’s separation from God in the Garden of Eden.
“As long as men continue to sin against God, they will continue to struggle. It takes two to succeed, you and God,” he added.
On gratitude and obedience, Bello said that any Christian who knew how to obey and show appreciation to God was destined for great heights.
“An ungrateful man cannot go far in life. Gratitude will open the doors of breakthrough and success to you at any time. Appreciation of God’s goodness leads to an appreciation of your blessings and worth before God and man.
“Appreciation of God leads to success in life. It is the shortest cut to victory. If you want the heavens to be opened for you, if you want to be made whole, then you must be ready to appreciate Him. When you return to give glory to God.
“He will return to make your life worth living. Divine upliftment comes in the place of gratitude.
“Every disobedience has a retribution attached to it. When you obey the commands of God, blessings follow after, but when a man disobey, the blessings are withheld,” he said.
Bello, who warned against habit of procrastination, added that devourers had also been assigned against people who do not pay their tithes.
On the route to prosperity, the cleric listed 11 steps which include: wisdom, diligence, labour, mystery of giving, the way of thinking, anointing, obedience, natural gifts and endowments, blessing of right placement, praises, and breakthrough by the blood.
“The road to prosperity is a straight one if you can only understand it. God has already made every provision for comfort and upliftment.
“There are certain things you can do to unlock the heavens for yourself and your family,” he said
In his welcome address, Adeleye, said the theme of summit came from the consciousness that Christians in the country were not where they were supposed to be.
Adeleye said, “Christians are crawling when they are supposed to be flying.
“It is strange that some people don’t know that they are poor as long as they can afford one fairly used car and struggle to put food on the table.
“But Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Do we bother to ask what God’s riches are?
“According to Haggai 2:8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.
“If the silver and gold belong to God, then the logic should be that we His children should not be poor, but very rich. We can only be poor if there are things we don’t know, like where God is keeping all the wealth.”
He said Christians could not claim to be rich in Nigeria when the rich people in the country were from a different faith, while the rulers of the country and heads of all the most important institutions were from a different faith.
“One thing is clear, our destiny is hidden. It’s deliberate. We were born to seek and find out what we don’t know. We should be interested in knowing why we are here. We must be ready to learn,” Adeleye said.
The panel discussion session of the summit was moderated by Mr Babatunde Awe discussed “Business Opportunities to Achieve Financial Freedom.”
The panelists included Pastor Otokiti Williams, Mr Durosanya Oluwatosin, Mrs Iyabode Alayaki, Mr Abiodun Olayinka and Mrs Sofola Susan