Nigeria’s infrastructure is hampering its potential

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy has a number of challenges that range from governance, civil society, education, health and infrastructure. This according to a Boston Consultancy Group report, “Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential.” Infrastructure remains a big opportunity, for the “ripple effect” that it can have on the whole economy. Anybody that has been stuck in Lagos traffic, can attest to the challenges just in the capital. Key headlines for infrastructure are:

  • Only 56% of Nigerians have access to electricity
  • The country has a weak road network with 0.21 kilometers of roads per square kilometer compared to 0.62 kilometers in South Africa
  • Only 18% of federal roads are paved with 68% in poor condition
  • Nigeria will need to invest about $3 trillion in infrastructure over the next 30 years or nearly 20% of current GDP annually to catch up

Nigeria’s numerous open markets operate as feeder markets that rely on the regional infrastructure. It is estimated that 60% of consumer goods products flow through markets in Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri and Onitsha. Nigeria’s infrastructure is also of great importance to the neighbouring countries, that travel to shop in the open markets.
The report makes a number of recommendations, including creating a central body to oversee infrastructure investments, developing the local skills and launching a roadshow to secure Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure development.