The Federal Government yesterday, received a $10 billion private sector investment proposal aimed at fast-tracking the development of infrastructure and social wellbeing of the people of the Niger Delta region.
The proposal, which was presented to stakeholders during the meeting of ministers, governors of Niger Delta region and Chief Executives of International Oil and Gas Companies, IOCs, in Abuja, is targeted at a paradigm shift from public sector funding mechanism to private sector funding mechanism.
According to it, the funds which will be sourced in partnership with the Federal Government from the development partners, IOCs, Sovereign Wealth Fund, both national and international, commercial banks, cooperative banks and insurance companies, will be pooled under Niger Delta Investment Fund, NDIF, for investors to access and execute meaningful development projects in the region.
Founder and CEO of Henshaw Capital Partners, Barbara James, who presented the document to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, regretted that public funding of projects in the Niger Delta region had been retrogressive due mainly to improper monitoring and evaluation.
James pointed out that over $40 billion public funds were said to have been spent on projects execution in the region in the last 16 years without commensurate infrastructure on ground.
He adding: “Hence the need to approach private sector partnership mechanism.
“I came here to talk about Niger Delta Investment Fund, NDIF. It is a $10 billion investment. The purpose of the fund is to channel private sector investors into Niger Delta region.
“All around the world, infrastructure budget and business enterprises use private finances, funds from sovereign wealth fund to invest in infrastructure.”
“In his remarks, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani, said, there was need for sourcing of funding because the developmental need of Niger Delta region was enormous.”
He added that the proposal will be forwarded to the Technical Committee to take urgent and appropriate action on it.