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Backbone Plans $172bn Investment In Infrastructure, Energy, Real Estate, Mining

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Backbone Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (BINL) has announced its intention to invest $172 billion to develop infrastructure in order to boost various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

This investment, which is utilising alternative financing options, will be allocated to mineral resources, energy, agriculture, housing, and transportation sectors for the next 22 years, a statement by the multi-national company said on Saturday.

This investment drive, according to the firm, is in line with the administration of President Bola Tinubu to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country, while also promoting alternative financing for the construction of essential infrastructure projects.

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Recall that minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Aniete, said last year that the government has secured $30bn in commitments from foreign investors.

According to the implementation of the National Integrated Master Plan, Nigeria needs consistent investment of about $3 trillion for a period of 30 years to reduce its infrastructural gap and this investment from BINL is already an added advantage.

The group chief executive officer, Henry Owonka, said the company with foreign partners is seeking approval for a joint venture model to facilitate its planned investment in the country.
Owonka emphasised that the company intends to align with the current administration's infrastructure plan, highlighting that a consistent influx of investment, as proposed by the company, is preferable to isolated investments by other investors especially in the mining sector.

He said, “What we are looking for is for us to structure our program of investment, we are not looking for a sovereign guarantee which will deplete the foreign reserves but innovative ways to collateralise those natural resources that the country has in abundance. The president has verbally approved our request.

“The company expressed its interest in investing in a range of commodities. We are seeking approval for a joint venture model because in that way we can draw more investors not only in the country but also outside the country. Because when you have a joint venture with the government, it's better and that's what we are seeking rather than for them to just issue land to us.”

The CEO stating plans for the mining sector noted that the company is ready to invest $4 billion, “to explore mineral resources but we need data and that is also one of the offers we proposed so that we can bring in our expertise and help the government obtain accurate data and then we can explore those minerals. This partnership will help the government plan to reduce dependence on crude oil.
We also are doing this across all the ministries because it's a $172 billion investment drive.”

In a presentation at the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, the chief operations officer, Clement Kwegyir-Afful, explained that the investment drive is to reduce the huge infrastructural gap in the country.

“The current administration is looking for several investments to come in through the private sector to reduce the infrastructure gap. The NBIL has come together as a team to support the government to achieve this mandate without any sovereign guarantee.

“We want to help address the energy gap through the use of renewables, so one of our subsidiaries focuses on renewables and how we can address that. We are going to bring in innovative ways of funding through financier engineering to raise funds that would address the infrastructure gap.”

Continuing, the statement read, “Minerals exploration is one area the government wants to use to create another source of revenue shifting from oil and that is one strong area that we want to focus on. It will raise a different form of revenue.

“To do this will require a significant amount of money, so over the next 22 to 23 years, we are looking to invest $172 billion dollars. If you break this down yearly, that works to $6 billion every year in investment out of the numerous numbers the president is looking for.

“We have grouped our project into phases; the first one will be the ones that have the most impact on Nigeria's landscape, so we are looking at hospitals, renewable energies, mineral exploration and exportation because that is where we have huge concerns and also some of the deep sea ports,” he added.


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