Infrastructural Development in Nigeria: Challenges for Private Sector Participation and the Way Forward

Over the years, Nigeria has suffered poor infrastructural development, which has affected its economic growth. There have been many conversations around infrastructural development and several presentations of blueprints for mega projects by successive governments with little or no action in reality.

This paper reviews the regulatory framework and private sector participation in Nigeria’s infrastructural development ecosystem and the challenges to Nigeria’s infrastructural development. Although the recent coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected all the sectors of the economy, this paper proffers recommendations and attempts to chart a way forward for the infrastructure sector.

Regulatory Framework

Infrastructures are the basic essential facilities and services that should be put in place for development. It facilitates and accelerates economic development, such that where there are no infrastructures, economic development and growth would be difficult to achieve.[1] Economic development or growth is virtually impossible without a thriving infrastructure sector. In view of this, it is essential to briefly analyze the regulatory regime around private sector participation in infrastructural development in Nigeria.

There are a couple of regulatory frameworks for infrastructural development in Nigeria. We will highlight just a few.

  1. National Policy on Public-Private Partnership

The National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) sets out the steps that the government will take to ensure that private investment is used, where appropriate, to address the infrastructure deficit and improve public services in a sustainable way.[2] The Policy ensures that stakeholders get value for their money, and the government provides the enabling environment to market PPP projects and for same to thrive.

The Policy recognizes the various legal frameworks for PPP, including the Privatisation and Commercialisation Act 1999, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act 2005, Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, Public Procurement Act 2007, Public Procurement Laws and Public-Private Partnership Laws of various States, and other relevant legislation. The scope and application of the Policy extend to various sectors of the economy, including housing and transportation. The Institutional stakeholders include the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Planning Commission (NPC), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Federal Ministry of Finance, Debt Management Office, Accountant General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, and Bureau of Public Enterprises.

[1] Fidelis O. Nedozi, Jude O. Obasanmi & J.A. Ighata (2014) Infrastructural Development and Economic Growth in Nigeria: Using Simultaneous Equation, Journal of Economics, 2014, Volume 5, Issue 3, 325-332,


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