The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said the country’s infrastructure has to increase by at least between five and seven per cent for it to stimulate productivity and sustainable growth for businesses.
Mr Emefiele who was represented by the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communication, Mr Osita Nwasinobi, made this disclosure in his keynote address at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria’s (FICAN) 30th-anniversary conference and awards which had the theme: “Financing Infrastructure and SMEs for Inclusive Growth in the Post-COVID-19 Economy,” in Lagos on Saturday.
He expanciated that although the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as a sector has been a major driver of the growth of the economy, innovation, and job creation, its potential to spur growth and create jobs has been hampered by lack of access to quality infrastructure.
The CBN governor noted that though countries in sub-Saharan Africa had been spending about six to 12 per cent of their GDP annually on infrastructure, Nigeria is projected to need $100bn investment to fix its infrastructural gap annually for the next 30 years which was currently estimated to be about 1.2 per cent of its GDP.
“Beyond infrastructure, access to finance remains one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies alike, with serious implications for productivity, economic development and job creation,” Emefiele said.
Meanwhile, he revealed that the apex bank had put in place several policy measures to stimulate economic growth and reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and that its intervention effort represented about 3.5 per cent of the GDP.
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