The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has dismissed rumours that the federal government had dumped the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan,NIIMP, rather, he said the government was reviewing the document to make it conform to current realities.
A statement signed by Akpandem James, Media Adviser to the minister, said speculations that the plan might have been abandoned was fueled by poor appreciation of the essence of the NIIMP and lack of knowledge about recent developments regarding the document.
The statement reads: “For effective implementation of the NIIMP, the current administration embarked on a number of related key activities including developing a framework for identifying priority projects with infrastructure-heavy MDAs to form part of the 2017 Budget, as well as signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Infrastructure Bank which will act as the Budget and Planning Ministry’s Advisor on NIIMP implementation.
“Also, a two-day pre-summit workshop was hosted by the Ministry with critical Stakeholders to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of Public, Private Partnership,PPP, projects; while also engaging with private sector industry players, especially on PPPs.
“The Ministry is in the process of concluding reality checks on the NIIMP document to address current developments in the global economy; and work is in progress on the development of the first Medium Term Delivery Plan for the NIIMP, which is expected to adequately capture priority areas of the current administration.”
The minister explained that the 2016 budget accorded priority attention to infrastructure development and allocated a substantial proportion of the first full-year budget of the administration to the sector.
“It was the largest of such allocation since the country returned to democratic governance in 1999; and clearly showed a determination by government to improve basic infrastructural facilities across the country,” he stated.
It could be recalled that integrated infrastructural development was only second to Economic Reforms in the ranking of the six pillars of the present administration’s Change Agenda. Others are Social Development, Governance and Security, Environment, and States and Regional Development.
The statement further stated that the first five years of the NIIMP document provides that energy, transport, social infrastructure and housing should be given priority due to their current relative level of under-investment; and the 2016 Budget gave priority attention to these sectors, with further room for enhancement in the planned 2017 Budget.
The NIIMP takes stock of existing infrastructure and identifies the required investments to bring them in line with the country’s aspirations. It also establishes sector targets, priority programmes and critical enablers for effective implementation.
Some of the major provisions of the NIIMP document include that priority attention should be given to:
- investments directed at the roads sub-sector in order to refurbish cross-national highways as well as expand the regional road network and linkages to other modes of transportation,
- electricity generation capacity and expansion of transmission infrastructure, as well as construction of supporting gas infrastructure,
- expansion of mobile network capacity and the broadband fiber optic network,
- increasing the number of housing units in order to close the current and projected housing deficit,
- construction of facilities for education, hospitals, women and youth development, and sports, as well as,
- investments in national vital registration system and construction and rehabilitation of facilities for all security institutions.
The minister stressed that the NIIMP estimated an annual allocation of N6.5 trillion for infrastructure development but that it became unrealistic in the face of contemporary economic realities, as the entire national budget for 2016 was just N6.06 trillion.