FG to toll Lagos-Ibadan expressway, 2nd Niger bridge to repay infrastructure loans
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that the federal government will toll the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano road and the second Niger Bridge to repay loans used to fund the project.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Emefiele at the closing ceremony of the 12th Banker’s Committee retreat in Lagos.
The apex bank governor said that the three projects are funded by the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCo).
“The Federal Government approached us to provide some kind of bridge funding; the bridge funding is almost about N170 billion, and we provided it so that those projects can move on with funding,” he said.
“The entire scope of those three projects, I am told is slightly above N1 trillion, but the numbers are being worked on.
“And I believe by the time the asset managers effectively come on board, the details of those projects and the remaining aspects of those funding would be coming in through debt and that is where the asset managers would come in with the entire scope and then we would know the detailed cost of those three projects.”
He also said the roads will be tolled to cater for their maintenance.
“All of the roads will be tolled. And we know that in many other countries in the world, roads are tolled because those projects are commercially viable,” the CBN governor said.
“They can be refunded with tolls so that maintenance can be done on a regular basis, and people will pay for it and enjoy good roads, and enjoy good facilities because that is the only way we can fund the infrastructure of this country, which is the large amount of money that is needed.”
Emefiele said that N1 trillion of the N15 trillion equity for InfraCo was being contributed by the CBN, African Finance Corporation, and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, adding that the remaining N14 trillion would be accessed from the debt market.
According to him, these are substantially going to be naira funding.
“The banks have a large pool of funds, the pension administrators have a large pool of funds, and we are reasonably optimistic that more than 50 percent or two-thirds of this money is going to be raised locally,” Emefiele said.
“Before we begin to think about accessing international finance, we would try as much as possible to limit debt for foreign currencies, particularly knowing that some of these projects and revenues are going to be generated with local currency.
“Where foreign currencies are needed, we will also take those and then be able to use them.”
Emefiele said that within the Nigerian financial system, there is a lot of idle capital that can be channeled to InfraCo as it was set up to give comfort to investors, especially the local investors to put their funds in these projects.
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