Lagos - The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has advised African countries to adopt public-private sector partnership approach to the development of infrastructure.
Sanusi said this while delivering a keynote address at the second Biennial Regional Conference of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference theme: ‘Financing Infrastructure for Sustainable Development in West Africa'' was aimed focusing attention on infrastructure development in the region.
Sanusi said that considering infrastructure financing options for the region, a mix of sources would be needed and that increasingly, private and innovative expertise would be needed to close the infrastructure gap.
He said that there was no "one size fits all'' solution to fixing the infrastructure gap, given our circumstances.
Sanusi said that the right mix would depend on factors such as financial development, indebtedness, business environment and preferences in each country.
Sanusi said that the government would continue to develop the infrastructure, which he said, was the practice all over the world.
He, however, said that private sector should not have more than 25 per cent to 40 per cent participation, but added that main fund should come from government.
Sanusi said that government could also source funds for infrastructure from multinational donors such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and African Development Bank.
According to him, infrastructure development the world over is financed by the public sector.
"You are not going to have the private sector build your roads and those projects which seems to be unprofitable even when they are beneficial to the whole economy.
"It is important to identify those projects that are profitable and can stand on their own like large commercial airports.
"We will continue to give every support we can to anything that has to do with development within the scope that our Act permits,” he added.
The Director-General of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said that demand for infrastructure investment in the West Africa region was very high while returns on infrastructure remained favourable in Africa.
Ekpo said that there was the need to fill the infrastructure gap to ensure sustainable and balanced development in the region and Africa in general.
He added that the objective of the conference was to review current infrastructure policies in the sub-region and foster practical solutions that would address the challenges using different options.