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Published On: Mon, May 26th, 2014

Infrastructure: Bank hands over 65 mass transit buses to beneficiaries in Lagos

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Transit buses to beneficiaries in LagosBy A’isha Biola Raji

Formerly known as Urban Development Bank of Nigeria Plc, The Infrastructure Bank Plc has presented to beneficiaries in Lagos, 65 buses, aimed at easing the transportation challenge.

The bank was established in 1992 under decree No. 51 of the 1992 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Infrastructure Bank Plc is Nigeria’s dedicated infrastructure bank providing financial solutions to support key long term infrastructure projects, including transportation infrastructure, municipal common services, mass housing and district development, solid waste management and water provision, and power and renewable energy projects.

With a unique ownership structure, the Infrastructure Bank Plc is majority owned by the private sector but also has the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Governments as well as the Nigeria Labour Congress as shareholders. The Bank is thus a government sponsored but private sector led development finance institution.

At the presentation ceremony of the vehicles, the bank said it has recovered 95 per cent of the N10.5 billion loans it granted under the first phase of the Public Mass Transit Revolving Fund (PMTF).

Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, the Managing Director, disclosed this at the official hand-over ceremony of 65 the mass transit buses worth N800 million to beneficiaries in Lagos at the weekend.

He said that the recovery of the loans had grown the mass transit revolving loans base to N15 billion.

Oyinloye said that the bank was already working on ways to recover the remaining five per cent through effective risk management system.

He said that the bank, as the fund manager of the PMTF Scheme Two, was working in collaboration with Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), the financier of the Scheme Two.

Oyinloye admonished beneficiaries of the Scheme Two not to regard the buses as “political largess”.

He said that the government had to change the five per cent interest rate per annum under the Scheme One to zero per cent interest under Scheme Two.

According to him, the bank expects beneficiaries under the Scheme Two to pay on time because of the zero interest rate.

The bank chief said that the buses were to be fully paid for in order to sustain the scheme, which he described as “laudable and people-oriented”.

Oyinloye stressed that it was only through prompt re-payment that more Nigerian road transporters could benefit, warning that the bank would not tolerate any default by beneficiaries.

He said that under the Scheme Two, every beneficiary had to collaterise their loans to ensure recovery of the facilities.

“There is a risk management framework around the scheme, so every beneficiary has to collaterise what he has taken one way or another.

“If we morally persuade them and it does not work on time, we will consider the next step to get our money back because the money belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“It is meant for the masses because for other beneficiaries to benefit, previous beneficiaries must pay back,” Oyinloye said.

He that the aim of PMTF was to enhance national transport services through the Federal Government resources under the SURE-P.

“I can tell you that from the offices of LAMATA, Transport Ministry to LAGBUS, everybody is indeed happy with the presence of our buses on the streets.

“I wnt the public to know that this is not the first time Lagos is benefiting from the scheme. Since 2010 when the first scheme started, a lot of our buses ply Lagos roads.

Oyinloye said that under the SURE –P initiative in 2012, a bulk of the 680 buses came to Lagos through a partnership with Lagos Ministry of Transport.

He also said that each of the buses would provide employment to at least four people through shift operations.

Dr Fatima Adamu, the SURE-P Convener for Mass Transit Sub-Committee, said that the buses were brought to Lagos because of the significance of Lagos to the nation’s economy.

Adamu said that the success level of the scheme in Lagos would provide sustainable framework for its implementation across the country.

She also said that in addition to the activities of PMTF, SURE-P was deploying efforts in road development and maintainace in Lagos.

“Of course, the whole SURE-P is not about bus projects, but other things are in the offering for Lagos.

“Every Nigerian is expected to benefit from SURE-P, irrespective of the politically affiliation because the SURE-P money belongs to Nigerians,” she said.

Adamu said that under SURE-P initiative, government had earmarked N15 billion for mass transit programme.

According to her, SURE-P also has plans to purchase 5,000 buses to be distributed to all the states.

She said that the government employed private-public partnership to safeguard the money in the delivery of the services embarked upon.

The convener said that The Infrastructure Bank had not relented in its efforts to make sure that the loans were recovered from beneficiaries.

She said that the current regime understood the importance of Lagos to the development of the nation, adding that this was reason government considered the state.

Three corporate beneficiaries under Phase Two of the PMTF Scheme are to run the buses under the LAGBUS franchise.

The beneficiaries are Safetrip, Safexkways and the Green Line Company.

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