By Chis Alu
Under the network expansion plan, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has said the broadband fibre-optic network would be considered a priority.
According to a report, Nigeria will need USD 325 billion to expand the country’s mobile network infrastructure capacity to meet international standards – according to the recently approved 30-year National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP). This is about 11 percent of the total investment targeted under the plan.
As part of the network expansion plan, the NPC revealed that a national fibre-optic network would be considered a priority.
The NIIMP is Nigeria’s blueprint for accelerated infrastructure development. It provides the road-map for building world-class infrastructure that will enhance the quality of life of residents and enable Nigeria to take advantage of opportunities for sustained economic growth and development.
In the first five years of the plan, investments in ICT will be given priority due to the current relative level of under-investment.
The NPC said the plan takes stock of existing infrastructure and identifies the required investments to bring infrastructure in line with the country’s growth aspirations.
According to the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, the fund is part of a $3 trillion National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), based on sectoral growth strategies, outcome targets and international benchmarks, spread over a period of 30 years.
In the plan, Nigeria’s core infrastructure stock was estimated at only 20-25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 and based on re-based GDP figures in 2014, and the country’s economic growth aspirations it was estimated that a total investment of about $3 trillion will be required over the next 30 years to build and maintain a world class infrastructure for Nigeria.
In the preferred accelerated growth path, the NPC said Nigeria needed to increase investment in infrastructure from the current $1.1 billion annually to above 1.749 billion annually in 2014 and $5.621 billion in 2018, averaging $3.63 billion annually (5.4% GDP) for the five year period (2014-2018).
In the first five years of the plan, the Commission said investments in ICT will be given priority due to its current relative level of under-investment.
Dr. Sulaiman, however, pointed out that increased private sector participation in the plan would require a conducive environment with stable and transparent government policies, rules and regulations, fiscal and monetary incentives and long term financing mechanisms.