• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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ECOWAS targets $400m annually for infrastructure development

ECOWAS targets $400m annually for infrastructure development

The Economic Community of West African States is set to establish an Infrastructure Development Fund (FODETE-ECOWAS) with $400 million annually to finance energy and infrastructure projects within the sub-region.

Sediko Douka, the ECOWAS commissioner for infrastructure, energy, mines, water resources, digitisation, and postal services, who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, said the fund was expected to be created before the end of 2024.

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Douka said the fund was projected to grow over a projected 20-year period, an amount large enough to have an impact on reducing the infrastructure deficit in the region, estimated at around $5.2 billion per year.

He further explained that the fund would be financed by a tax on the main export resources; agriculture, oil and gas, natural minerals, etc in the region.

“One of the major problems we have is funding; we want to set up to finance energy and transport infrastructure projects. Infrastructure is the backbone of any development. It is a catalyst as it impacts the costs of production factors (nearly 40%). Therefore, reducing these costs is essential for the competitiveness of our agricultural, mining, oil, craft, and industrial products, etc. Additionally, Infrastructure also increases intra-community trade, which is still low (max = 15%)”, he said.

The commissioner noted that member countries have done the consultations, feasibility study, and macroeconomic analysis since the approval of the fund in 2009 during the 36th session of the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Abuja.

According to Douka, what is left is for member countries to agree on the formula and exercise the needed political will.

“We have the study to study all the issues, to balance, and not to penalise a country because the country has a chance to produce more than the others.

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For example, when you take the oil and gas sector, Nigeria alone can represent 90 percent of all the oil and gas produced in the region. So, we have to moderate the contribution of Nigeria for these specific products. When you take cocoa, you’ll see Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, we have moderate also”, he explained.