To close the nation’s huge infrastructure gap, economic experts have stressed the need for government to attract more private capital and expertise. The experts, who spoke at the Risk Management Association of Nigeria’s 19th annual lecture in Lagos recently, submitted that Nigeria needed to make massive investments beyond the government’s available means in order to close the yawning infrastructure gap.
Besides, they also underscored the importance of investing in technology as a panacea to nation’s rapid economic development. Renowned Economist and Chief Executive Kainos Edge Consulting, Dr. Adedoyin Salami, while speaking on a theme: ‘Economic Recovery and Development: Leveraging Technological Innovation’, said the weak revenue generation and increasing constraint on public resources has showed that government alone cannot meet the capital required to address infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.
According to him, government must attract more private sector capital and expertise through public private partnership, which is proven all over the world as a solution to infrastructure deficit particularly in emerging markets like Nigeria.“We need to define where we are going. The Federal Government must be encouraged to reach where we have set as destination. For me, it is increasing clear that Nigeria is a capital deficient country and to that extent, you cannot rely on public capital. So, private money must be brought to the table in order to supplement government revenue, if we are going to get to where we are going.
“In other words, the Federal Government should also incentivise for growth. These incentives can be economic incentives or institutional incentives, so that we can build institutions that ensure that over a period of time our country makes progress in a well-defined manner.”
Furthermore, Salami also the federal government has been urged to embrace technology advancement citing it as important to rapidity growing the economy. He added that if the benefits inherent in technology are properly harnessed, Nigeria can grow double digits and could become a world power in 20 years.
“The timeframe in which countries are developing and achieving rapid growth is deducing sharply largely on the back of technology and that is one of the key reasons why for me the conference theme is crucial. When you look at what has happened to other countries, technology has been a major player therein. Nigeria should pay attention to it.”
“Most governments in this country are unable to appreciate how quickly this economy can grow on the basis of technology. As a country, we need to understand that it is about out. At the end of 2018, Nigeria was about the 30th economy in the world and if we must achieve our goal of the 20th largest economy by year 2020, we must double the size of this economy in the next one year.”
The President of RIMAN, Magnus Nnoka, said the association, as part of its mission tried to stimulate discussions around relevant issues on a yearly basis.“This year, we have chosen to discuss economic recovery and development, leveraging technological innovation. If you look at what is happening globally, economies are not growing, whether it is in Asia, Europe, America or Latin America, their economies are shrinking.
“So, we feel at this point in time that the typical issues for most of the economies are how to achieve a faster economic growth and how to take people out of poverty to achieve economic development.“The world is silently in the fourth industrial revolution today, and if you also look at the history of developed economies, most of them leveraged technologies to get to where they are. “And for us particularly in Nigeria and Africa, as the forth industrial revolution comes, we need to see how we can tap into it to enhance the productive capacity of the economy.”