The Governor of Anambra, Prof. Charles Soludo, has recommended that the Federal Government allocate the majority of the savings from subsidy and liberalization, about 90 percent, towards infrastructure development and social progress.
During the Nigerian Academy of Engineering Annual Lecture held at the University of Lagos, Akoka, on Thursday, Soludo shared this advice. The lecture focused on the theme “Financing Engineering Infrastructure.”
Soludo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, also urged the government to invest between eight to ten percent of the Gross Domestic Product annually in public infrastructure for the next ten years to meet the public’s needs.
The governor explained that such measures would contribute to the provision of essential infrastructure, which is crucial for citizens’ well-being and the nation’s progress.
Soludo further revealed that despite alternative financing initiatives, Nigeria continues to face a widening gap in infrastructure due to population growth and urbanization.
He also emphasized the importance of collaboration between the Federal and state governments to succeed in infrastructure provision.
To illustrate, Soludo pointed out that state governments are better equipped to understand the priority needs and alignment of roads within their respective regions.
Hence, the successful and efficient execution of such projects requires collaboration between the federal and state governments.
Similarly, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State expressed that closing the gap in engineering infrastructure through adequate funding would, directly and indirectly, affect various economic sectors, particularly in revenue generation.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the governor emphasized that collaboration and partnership among all stakeholders are essential strategies for the government to adopt to achieve its goals.
Given the declining economic fortunes, particularly in revenue generation, the government must employ innovative and creative strategies to bridge the financing gap, as it cannot single-handedly provide all the solutions.
Sanwo-Olu further highlighted the significance of engineering knowledge in achieving the industrialization objectives of any nation.
He noted that the government must prioritize acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills in the 21st century, where technology is vital in advancing economic growth and development.
The governor also stressed the need to support professionals in the engineering sector and other science and technology-related fields, enabling them to contribute their expertise towards developing sustainable solutions for local challenges.