Federal Executive Council (FEC) Approves President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF)

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The Presidency has stated that Nigeria needs $35 billion yearly, up till 2040, to cover its infrastructure expenditure.

In a statement made available to the Press on Tuesday, Presidential aide, Bayo Onanuga explained that President Muhammadu Buhari, realized that the government could not meet this huge cost, established the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), with National Sovereign Wealth Authority, playing a vital role.

The PIDF helped in the realization of critical projects, such as the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

However, the PIDF faced funding constraints, and delays in project execution, leading to rising costs of materials, and bureaucratic and institutional challenges.

These challenges are what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF) seeks to overcome, and it was unanimously approved on Monday 25 March by the Federal Executive Council, he said.

“As conceived, it is a game-changing, innovative, and transformative Fund that will drive economic growth in road, and rail construction, agriculture, aviation, education, health, energy, and technology.

It will provide the elixir for critical national projects that will accelerate infrastructure and economic development in all parts of the country.

With eyes on raising N20 Trillion, about $14 billion take-off capital, the Fund will support projects that will promote growth, and “enhance local value-addition through backward, forward and parallel linkages.”

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“Employment opportunities also will be created and exports promoted. For instance, a core focus of the Fund will be to enhance the agricultural value chain to boost food security”

“By fortifying agricultural infrastructure, the Fund will ensure that post-harvest losses are reduced and food supply chains strengthened.

Among the projects being targeted are major road networks, such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, Sokoto-Badagry Expressway, Lagos-Kano, and Eastern Rail Lines. Ports and aviation facilities will be modernized”.

The Fund will cast its net for investment capital wider than the PIDF.

It targets Pension Funds, Concessionary Loans, Insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, private sector arms of multilateral development institutions, and bilateral private sector investors.

Other financing sources are individual investors, including the Diaspora Nigerians, endowments, and equity funds.

At the Federal Executive Council meeting on Monday, where the Fund was first tabled before members before its approval, President Bola Tinubu explained the rationale for its conception.

He said the Fund, which will be managed by a Director-General, will be domiciled in the Presidency. It will cut through bureaucratic bottlenecks that usually delay the implementation of good projects.

President Tinubu cited the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), which he conceived during his tenure as Lagos governor in 2004, and how the agency midwifed two rail lines and executed some of the important road networks in the metropolis.

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Many members of the Council applauded the initiative after it was presented by the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji.

Onanuga finally explained that President Tinubu is desirous of bequeathing a legacy of socially and economically impactful policies, such as student loans, social security for the unemployed, and consumer credit.

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