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Jim Ovia

Ovia links shorter ‘political life cycles’, longer ‘infrastructure life cycles’ to failure

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New factor that causes the observed infrastructural decay in Nigeria have been identified by the chairman of Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Jim Ovia.

Giving insights from his lead submission during the recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) conference in Lagos, the banking wizikd who was said to have started Zenith Bank dream with N20 million in 1990, averred that “reconciling relatively shorter ‘political life cycles’ with often longer ‘infrastructure life cycles has been an issue given that successive political leadership often tinker with projects inherited from their predecessors, either by delaying their execution or, in most cases, abandoning them out rightly”.

According to him, inadequate governance frameworks and lack of capacity in needed competence and experience are key challenges militating against the provision of adequate infrastructure.

But to give comfort to those engaging in infrastructure provision and funding, Ovia offered the underlying reliefs, pointing out that there was need to mobilise what he termed “the right vehicle for Infrastructure projects”, including strengthening the judicial system to deal with infrastructure related matters.

He agreed that there is the need for provision of legislative clarity, especially as it relates to public procurement, permits, expropriation, taxation, litigation and tariff definition, in addition to establishing a creative innovative financing instruments and arrangements, including exit options.

He further advised the government to leverage on the insurance sector, non- interest banking funds like ‘Sukuk’, the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) schemes and Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) as other funding sources that can be tapped to drive infrastructure provision and funding facilities.


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