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Motorists To Pay Tax On Lagos-Ibadan, Abuja-Kano Roads, 2nd Niger Bridge –FG

Upon completion, the Feder­al Government will toll the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano road and the second Niger Bridge to ensure mainte­nance and also to pay back loans used for them.

Godwin Emefiele, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), disclosed this on Wednesday at the end of the 12th edition of the Bankers’ Committee Retreat in Lagos.

“The Federal Government approached us to provide some kind of bridge funding. The bridge funding is N170 billion so that those projects can move on with funding. The entire scope of those three projects is slightly above N1 trillion but the numbers are being worked on.

“I believe by the time the asset managers effectively come on board, the details of those projects and the remaining aspects of those funding would be coming in through debt and that is where the asset managers would come in with entire scope and then we would know the detailed cost of those three projects”, he said.

On Infrastructural Com­pany Limited (InfraCo), Emefiele said that N1 tril­lion out of the N15 trillion is equity, being contribut­ed by the CBN, African Fi­nance Corporation (AFC) and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“The remaining N14 trillion would be ac­cessed from debt market. And I must say that we are happy here that these are substantially going to be naira funding. The banks have large pool of funds, the pension admin­istrators have large pool of funds and we are rea­sonably optimistic that more than 50 percent or two third of this money is going to be raised locally before we begin to think about accessing interna­tional finance.

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“We would try as much as possible to limit debt for foreign currencies particularly knowing that some of these projects and revenues are going to be generated with local cur­rency. Where foreign cur­rencies are needed, we will also take those and then be able to use them.

“What is important is that within the Nigerian financial system, there is a lot of idle capital or idle funds that can be chan­neled if packaged the way InfraCo is set up to give comfort to investors espe­cially our local investors to really put their funds in these projects.

“This is a brilliant al­ternative financing meth­odology that has been brought up and we seek to really look into this. It in­tends to help government and private sector to raise finance, without necessar­ily encumbering the bal­ance sheet of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

The committee, he said, still believes that a lot work still needs to be done to strengthen Nigeria’s re­covery.

He said, “It is only when output of GDP exceeds pop­ulation growth that we can begin to say that our citi­zens are beginning to see prosperity.

“We believe that Nige­ria can feed itself and that Nigeria can produce what to eat and that everything needs to be done for us to move away from a situation where everything is import­ed. That we need to get to a stage where we bring our manufacturing industries back to life again”.

He added that “for us to beat our chest and say that we have sustainable inclu­sive growth in the country, that we as banks, working with government must do everything possible to diversify the Nigerian economy. Or do anything possible to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.

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“We will do everything possible to reduce the rate of poverty in our country. Believing that if we are able to diversify the econo­my, believing that if we are able to reduce unemploy­ment and poverty in the country, then we can beat our chest and begin to say that we have a country that is secured and reduce the level of insecurity in the country. And we viewed that doing this is upmost and that everything must be done and that banks themselves took up the fact that whereas we have done everything in the past to support the economy but we will still do more as agents that should catalyse the economy.

“We also talked about companies who are ready to conduct credible busi­ness but do not have the capital to conduct that credible business, with our mandate, we will help in providing jobs and em­ployment for Nigeria. And that we will do everything possible to ensure that we do whatever needs to be done for this mandate to be achieved.

“Indeed, some members spoke about the need to provide credit allocations to some sectors but we con­cluded that it is outdated to begin to provide sectorial allocation”.

Source: Independent

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