Abuja – Mr Otis Anyaeji, President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has urged African countries to finance infrastructure through policy-based funding controlled by national governments to stop dependence on foreign aid.
Anyaeji made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
He said that African countries have the capacity to finance infrastructural development wholly without seeking aid from donor nations.
He said that they would be able to achieve this objective, if available public funds and private capital were judiciously utilised and mobilised.
“It is imperative to use Africa’s funds to finance Africa’s infrastructure.
“But those funds must be responsibly managed with discipline and by resisting the temptation to convert public funds into private hands.
“So, can you imagine what we would achieve if we become disciplined enough; if we respect our expertise and allow them to work and run the things that they can do well.
“And you begin to harness all the other resources that we need; you begin to use science and technology to become productive.
“If only we can produce what we consume here, we should be in the position to give people the aid to attain Sustainable Development Goals while Nigeria is operating on a higher level.
“Nigeria needs to look inwards; if we look inwards, we should not be at the level of MDGs and SDGs,’’ Anyaeji said.
The NSE President urged African countries to urgently apply financial tools that developed and most developing nations deployed to develop and maintain their infrastructure and industry.
“Policy-based finance should be created and controlled by the national governments, made available on a revolving commercial basis to prioritize projects through development banks.
“Policy-based credit provided from funds generated from Central Bank’s discount rates, deposit money banks, funds mobilized from excess crude oil and other mineral resources should be mobilized.
He pledged that under his stewardship, the NSE would pursue a strategic vision of taking control of the engineering activities in all sectors of the country’s economy.
Anyaeji was inaugurated as the 30th NSE President on Jan. 16, 2016, to serve for the next two years. (NAN)