Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun yesterday announced the release of another tranche of N750 billion for the execution of projects captured in the 2017 fiscal plan.
The sum of N450 billion had earlier in the year been released in addition to the Sukuk bond proceeds from which some contractors engaged in the country’s road infrastructure were paid.
Adeosun announced the release during a meeting with a delegation of investors from France. The delegation is made up of 30 companies from France that have expressed their readiness to invest in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
She said that with the additional N750 billion, N1.2 trillion would have been invested in infrastructure projects in the 2017 plan.
According to her: “What the government is doing is to provide enabling infrastructure that would bring potential into reality. Last year we released N1.3 trillion of capital and so far this year we have released N450 billion and this week we will release another N750 billion and this will take the release to N1.2 trillion by the end of the year.”
The Head of the delegation, Mr. Philippe Labonne, said the investors have indicated interest in key sectors of the economy such as banking, infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture and youth empowerment.
He said the decision of the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the government of France for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.
He described the Nigerian economic environment as being encouraging following the recent stability in the Nigeria’s foreign exchange market.
To achieve their investment objective, Labonne said that most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterpart.
“We are here to assess the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.
“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.
“We are interested in many areas such as energy, agriculture, services especially towards youths and we will identify other areas subsequently.’’
By Mathias Okwe
The Guardian Newspaper December 12th, 2017