The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda has called on the private sector to rise to the challenge of sourcing long-term financing from the capital market that would fund the provision of infrastructure in the West African Sub-region.
Yuguda stated this at a pre-event press briefing on the forthcoming West Africa Capital Market Conference scheduled to be held in Lagos October 25-26 with the theme ‘Infrastructural deficit and sustainable financing in an integrated West Africa Capital Market’.
- According to Yuguda, “Infrastructure deficit refers to a situation where there is insufficient infrastructure relative to the needs of the population. “Availability of infrastructure, such as power, telecommunications, roads, rail, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, etc. is crucial to raising the living standards of the people”.
Infrastructure provision moving away from government:
He disclosed that in many countries, the responsibility for the provision of infrastructure has been steadily moving away from the government to the private sector owing to increasing demand and reduced ability of the government to fund infrastructure alone, adding that the need to tackle the infrastructure deficit in the sub-region as well as embrace principles of sustainable finance to promote economic development are some of the issues to be discussed as the conference.
The conference is being jointly organized by the West Africa Securities Regulators Association (WASRA) comprising the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ghana, and Autorite de Marche’s Financiers or AMF-UMOA, in collaboration with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West Africa Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).
- The SEC Boss said, “This deficit also poses a significant challenge to the region’s sustainable development.
- To address this gap, there is a growing need to adopt innovative financing mechanisms, and sustainable financing options to mobilize the desired funds to meet the region’s critical infrastructure needs, foster economic growth, and achieve sustainable development goals”.
Need for adequate infrastructure:
He noted that Nigeria still has a long way to go with a population of over 200 million.
- “There is a need for adequate infrastructure to raise the standard of living in our people to curb the growing brain drain in the country. If we have good infrastructure comparable to all these countries our people move to for greener pastures, we will have a drop in brain drain, and that will help in economic development.
- “The Conference will bring together a distinguished array of experts, regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders who will share their insights, experiences, and strategies to proffer solutions to the region’s massive infrastructure deficit,” he said.