Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government needed about US$100 billion annually to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit.
Emefiele made the disclosure at the 30th Anniversary Conference and Awards of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, (FICAN), which was held at Dover Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The apex bank governor, who was represented by the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, said, “While infrastructure deficit in Nigeria is estimated to be about 1.2 percent of GDP, it is projected that the Federal Government needs to commit about US$100 billion annually to address the nation’s infrastructural deficit”.
Emefiele also stated that lack of access to quality infrastructure had been a limiting factor to MSMEs in developing countries delivering on their potential for growth and employment creation.
Beyond infrastructure, he also said that a survey by international accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, revealed that the formal MSMEs have been identified to contribute about 40% of the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), in emerging economies, of which Nigeria was one.
Emefiele, however, added that access to finance remained one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies alike. According to him, this is with serious implications for productivity, economic development, and job creation.
He said the survey also showed that access to credit had been identified as a critical enabler for the growth and development of MSMEs in developing countries.
The apex bank governor regretted the numerous challenges MSMEs in Nigeria were facing in spite of their huge contributions to the nation’s GDP.
Emefiele said the overall credit gap for MSMEs was estimated to be US$5.2 trillion, representing 19% of these countries’ cumulative GDP. Of this, the unmet financing demand from MSMEs in sub-Saharan Africa is about US$331 billion, representing 18% of the potential demand for credit by MSMEs in the region.
The two-day conference had as its theme: ‘Financing Infrastructure and SMEs for Inclusive Growth in Post-Covid-19 Economy’.