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FEC ESTABLISHES RENEWED HOPE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND TO BRIDGE THE INFRASTRUCTURE GAP IN THE COUNTRY               

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FEC ESTABLISHES RENEWED HOPE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND TO BRIDGE THE INFRASTRUCTURE GAP IN THE COUNTRY                                                                                                                  25-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu.                                                     The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the establishment of Renewed Hope Infrastructure Fund to look for alternative ways of bridging the infrastructure gap in the country.

Briefing State House correspondents, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Dr. Zacch Adedeji, said the Fund would focus on agriculture, energy, technology, healthcare, infrastructure, and education.

The Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan commissioned in 2020, analysed that Nigeria would, in the next 10 years, require close to a trillion dollars to address her infrastructure deficit.

This much is definitely hard to mobilise, but the government is eager to use infrastructure as a catalyst for driving development, thus the prompt to think outside the box to achieve its objective, as stated by the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Dr. Zacch Adedeji.

“There’s no way you can attract the kind of investment that is required, but when you have this kind of fund that has interest in investing this critical National asset, take for instance, Badagry-Sokoto road, if it is done properly, in eleven hours, everything produced in Sokoto will be at the sea. The implication of that is that everything produced in the north is just eleven hours to the work”.

Similarly, the Ministry of Finance got approval to secure a loan of 15 billion Yen from Japan to promote agriculture, as explained by the Minister, Mr. Wale Edun.

“It is essentially free money. Ten years moratorium and one percent interest rate. It’s a kind of bilateral support that doesn’t put a strain on Nigeria financially, and of course, helps in the agriculture sector”.

The Ministry of Youth Development got approval from FEC to institutionalise a 30 percent youth quota in government appointments, which is aimed at grooming them in decision-making and civic engagements.

The Minister, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, said FEC had also given them approval to restructure and institutionalise the 75 billion Naira Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, approved in 2020, with annual release of 25 billion Naira.

While explaining that her Ministry had secured approval for the immediate release of 50 billion Naira, out of the 75 billion Naira, she said the aim was to encourage the youth into establishing their own enterprises in priority sectors, through the formation of clusters across the 6 geopolitical zones in the country.

“We have engaged with some State Governments, such as the Government of Katsina State. The clusters will be around the cotton value chain. We’re also in talks with the Government of Ebonyi State to strengthen the rice-producing communities by empowering the young people as well and bring them in clusters”, she said.

Similarly, FEC approved the construction and rehabilitation of 28 roads and bridges, and dropped one other project for further scrutiny.

This was explained by the Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi.

“The project I requested that it should be stepped down so that I can look at it again is the Biyu-Kanga-Kamba-Gaya to the border with Niger Republic causing about 158 billion. Council also approved the Buruku bridge that is going across Katsina-Ala River in Benue State, and is causing about 83.799 billion

Approval was further given for the rehabilitation of the 92-kilometre Shaki to Okerete Road in Oyo State.

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