About the Author(s)

Kayode Asaju Email symbol
Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, Federal University Wukari, Wukari, Nigeria


Asaju, K. (2023). Infrastructural development and development administration: A retrospective. Journal of Foresight and Thought Leadership, 2(1), a22. https://doi.org/10.4102/joftl.v2i1.22

Review Article

Infrastructural development and development administration: A retrospective

Kayode Asaju

Received: 22 Dec. 2022; Accepted: 30 Aug. 2023; Published: 26 Sept. 2023

Copyright: © 2023. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: No nation can achieve any meaningful development without adequate infrastructure. National development in Nigeria is predicated on adequate modern infrastructure. But, the situation in Nigeria seemed to be that of an infrastructure deficit.

Aim: The study examined the state of infrastructure in Nigeria and the efforts put in place to meet the infrastructure deficit in the country.

Method: The study was a descriptive qualitative research and secondary data was used. The data was analysed using content analysis. The study covers the entire country, Nigeria.

Result: The study showed that the various infrastructures in Nigeria are in a deplorable state and efforts at building modern infrastructure are still very insignificant. The major reasons for the deplorable state of infrastructure in Nigeria can be attributed to inadequate funds, a high rate of corruption in the public domain among others.

Conclusion: The study suggested a rigorous revenue-generating strategy by the government to fill the deficit gap, reduce corruption in the public institutions in Nigeria, among others.

Contribution: The paper no doubt revealed the ineptitude of the Nigerian leaders to understand the vital role of infrastructure in National development. Leaders with foresight will embark on infrastructure development, not only to enhance economic growth but to attract foreign investors. Unfortunately, the findings of the study showed that the Nigerian government has failed and lacked the political will to develop the relevant infrastructure required for economic development and enhancing the overall welfare of the citizens.

Keywords: development; development administration; infrastructure; infrastructure development; national development.


The importance of infrastructure to the development of any nation cannot be overemphasised. Every nation that desires genuine development both economically and socially must invest in infrastructure. Investment especially in infrastructure is capital-intensive, and it requires enormous investment because of its importance in pivoting economic growth and development. Lack of investment in infrastructure will resultantly lead to an infrastructural deficit with great consequences for human welfare and national development.

The realisation of the importance of infrastructure was acknowledged in the global circle as it constitutes one of the cardinal agenda of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The United Nations (UN) has stipulated 17 cardinal goals to be achieved within a specific time frame by developing nations. They include: poverty eradication, good health care and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and reduction of inequality. The SDGs have revolved around the achievement of human wellbeing and accelerated development in all nations. It might be difficult and unsustainable to achieve all these goals without vigorous and sustained infrastructural development in all the countries in the world, especially in developing countries where the attempt to achieve national development has been a mirage.

The Nigerian government over the years has invested much in infrastructural development without a correspondent output. Infrastructure deficit remains a major problem in Nigeria. Statistics reveal that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit is estimated to be above $100 billion annually. This constitutes 189.77%, which is above the federal budget (Proshare, 2020). The government recently lamented that the country requires a whooping sum of $1.5 trillion to address the problem of infrastructural deficit within 10 years and $3.0 tn in 30 years (Ukpe, 2021). The frustration expressed by the government shows the intensity of the problem. However, achieving SDGs depends on the availability of adequate effective modern infrastructure. The quest to achieve the goals of eradicating poverty and hunger, ensuring and enhancing good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and finally to reduce inequality could be a mirage if the problem of infrastructural deficit persists in Nigeria.

The main problem is how the country can get out of this debacle. There is no doubt that the yardstick for measuring the strength of developed nations is the availability of modern infrastructure used in all the facets of the economic, political and social sectors. In recognition of the importance of infrastructure to national development, most advanced countries have invested massively in developing their infrastructure in other to launch their countries among the most developed economy in the world. Countries like China, Singapore, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Brazil among others have changed their economy around through infrastructural development. Thus, the strength, viability and sustainability of a modern economy depend on the level of modern infrastructure available in a nation. This implies that for developing countries, like Nigeria to compete with developed nations, the country needs to invest in and develop modern infrastructure that cut across every segment of the nation that is, transport, power, health, communication, education, industry and governance among others.

The research questions are: (1) What is the nature and state of infrastructure in Nigeria?; (2) What are the efforts put in place to develop infrastructure in Nigeria?; (3) What are the problems militating against infrastructural development in Nigeria?; (4) What are the implications for national development?; and (5) These questions informed the basis of this article.

Therefore, the objectives of this article include: examining the nature and state of infrastructure in Nigeria; examining the efforts put in place to develop infrastructure in Nigeria; examining the problems militating against infrastructure development in Nigeria and examining the implications for national development. The timeframe of the study was from 2010 to 2022.


The study adopts the descriptive longitudinal research design. Secondary data derived from official documents and reports of government and non-governmental agencies, journals and newspapers were used in this study. The data collected were analysed using content analysis.

Conceptual issues
The concept of infrastructure

The definition of the concept of infrastructure has been a subject of debate among scholars and practitioners. Despite the controversies that trail the meaning of infrastructure, there is an agreement that infrastructure constitutes amenities such as good road and rail networks, health care facilities, and rural or urban electrification among others which enhance the wellbeing of the people and as well lead to national development. The term ‘infrastructure’ according to Michael and Chatham (2022) was first used in the late 1880s. The term is a combination of Latin prefix ‘infra’– meaning below, and the French word ‘structure’– meaning building. This connotes the foundation upon which a building is laid. This implies that infrastructure is the foundation upon which the structure of every economy is laid. Thus, the survival and development of the economy of any nation are predicated on the availability of infrastructure.

The meaning of infrastructure can be understood from the perspectives of the two forms of infrastructure which are soft and hard infrastructure. The hard infrastructure is tangible and physical with great bearing on economic activities and human wellbeing. Some hard infrastructures include roads, bridges, rail, etc. Soft infrastructures are institutions that provide essential services that are beneficial to the wellbeing of the people, and as well enhance national development. Some examples of these infrastructures include schools, health centres, markets, recreation centres and town halls among others.

One of the scholars who defined infrastructure from a hard perspective is Ahmed (2011). He defined infrastructure as a set of interconnected structural elements such as roads, bridges, water supply, sewers electrical gadgets and telecommunication that provides the framework for economic growth and development. According to Hassan and Nor (2017), infrastructure is the basic physical and organisational equipment such as roads and bridges that are needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. Infrastructure implies large-scale public systems, services and facilities of countries that are necessary for economic activities. The component of hard form of infrastructure includes electricity and transportation (road, rail, ocean and air) (Ajakaiye, 2003). The three definitions above emphasised the physical and tangible aspects of infrastructure that are needed for human existence and economic growth and development. They constitute the necessities of life and without them, economic activities will be near impossible. Transportation is required for the movement of goods and humans. Without transportation, human mobility and the movement of goods from one place to the other will be very difficult or impossible. Power is also very crucial for human survival and economic activities. The various means of transportation (i.e. vehicles, rail, vessels and aeroplane) require power to make them functional. Power is also used to provide illumination for houses, buildings, means of transportation, machines and electrical gadgets, among others. ‘Infrastructure is composed of public and private physical structures such as roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and telecommunications (including Internet connectivity and broadband access)’ (O’Sullivan & Sheffrin, 2003).

In the similar vein, Fulmer (2009) defines infrastructure as the physical component of interrelated systems that provide essential commodities aimed at sustaining and enhancing the wellbeing of the people and their immediate environments. Fulmer’s definition emphasises the hard and soft components of infrastructure.

Infrastructure development is the improvement of the quality of the various components of infrastructure such as roads, power, information and communications technology (ICT), water and sanitation (Bertha, 2007). This definition seems to emphasise the hard form of infrastructure, neglecting the soft infrastructure. Spacey (2018) defines infrastructural development as the constitution of those fundamental services that stimulate economic growth and quality of life. Here, the emphasis is on the soft aspect of infrastructure. Infrastructure development in this article refers to the availability of those physical facilities that facilitate and enhance the provision of essential services required for the viability and sustainability of the economy and for improving the general wellbeing of the people.

Types of infrastructure

Infrastructure can be mainly categorised into three major groups, such as soft infrastructure, hard infrastructure and critical infrastructure as discussed here.

  • Soft infrastructure: Soft infrastructure implies all the institutions which are required to maintain the economic, health, cultural and social standards of a country (Luta, n.d.). This type of infrastructure helps to deliver some degree of services to the citizenry and helps to sustain the economy. Some examples of soft infrastructure include: the health sector, financial institutions, public organisations, educational institutions and security. This form of infrastructure requires qualitative and effective manpower to deliver.
  • Hard infrastructure: Luta (n.d.) further defines hard infrastructure as the large physical networks necessary for the functioning of modern industrialised nations. The hard infrastructure is the physical and tangible infrastructure that enables the soft infrastructure to function effectively. They include roads, bridges, dams, highways, waterways, airports, markets, pipelines, refineries, street lights, CCTV cameras, tunnels, gas plants, etc.
  • Critical infrastructure: Critical infrastructure is an essential infrastructure that is crucial for the effective functioning of a particular society or nation. In such societies, the government makes them a priority in its policy making process. In developing countries, such as Nigeria, food sufficiency via agriculture, education, poverty alleviation, security and employment are highly critical infrastructures that are vigorously pursued, financed and implemented to enhance economic development and the general wellbeing of the people.

Spacey (2018) identified eight forms of infrastructure and they include: transportation, energy, water, green infrastructure, digital infrastructure, social infrastructure, government services and resilience. These forms of infrastructure constitute both soft and hard infrastructure. The first four constitute the hard infrastructure, while the last four constitute the soft infrastructure.

Review Findings

The effort at infrastructure development in Nigeria

Several efforts at infrastructure development in Nigeria have been of mixed successes and failures. In the past three decades, a lot has been put into infrastructure development by the government and non-government actors in terms of financing and execution of new projects, and completion of abandoned ones.

Studies (ISD, n.d.) have shown recent efforts at developing infrastructure in Nigeria. Some of the ongoing projects identified in the study include the MW Mambilla hydropower project which has almost been completed. Part of the project was recently put to the test as it supplies electricity to Wukari and some of its environs. Unfortunately, this important project was stalled for more than 40 years despite the significant budgeted allocations for it in the annual budget in the past 10 years. The project was expected to be completed in 2022.

Other ongoing mega projects include the 11.9 km Second Niger Bridge, scheduled to be completed in 2022; the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway; the 156 km Lagos–Ibadan standard Gauge Railway with an extension to Lagos port and the Lagos–Calabar rail line running 1400 km with a cost of $11 bn. The projects were sponsored by the Import Bank of China. There is also the $2 bn railway line connecting northern Nigeria to Niger and $3 bn rehabilitation project of a 1.400 km rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and the 614 km Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano gas pipeline project. The project is co-funded by the Chinese and Nigerian governments. China is responsible for 85% of the funding, while the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is responsible for 15% of the funding.

Another ongoing project is the Lekki Deep Sea Port outside Lagos which serves as free zones along the coast. The project is co-financed by the China Harbour Engineering Company, Telegram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Ports Authority. There is also the 35 km Apapa–Oshodi–Oworoshoki Expressway which links the ports to the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway. This project is solely undertaken by Dangote and the construction of four new International airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Kano. Apart from the above ongoing projects, there are also about 600 km road construction and repair projects around the country (Blake, 2021; Games, 2021; ISD, n.d.).

Furthermore, some forms of policy and institutional measures were put in place by the government that are aimed at regulating and enhancing infrastructure development in Nigeria. One of them is the National Policy on Public–Private Partnership (PPP). The policy measure is aimed at encouraging private sector involvement in infrastructure development to address the problem of infrastructure deficit in the country. The policy clearly states the modus operandi on how the government and private sector will collaborate to develop infrastructure in Nigeria. The private firms provide finance and the government provides a conducive environment for the private firms to operate. The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act 2005 mandated the Commission to implement and monitor concessions and other PPP projects. The Commission develops and issues guidelines on PPP policies, processes and procedures in collaboration with the states. It also acts as the national secretariat for PPP. Some projects completed using the PPP include: the Garki Hospital, Abuja, 26 port terminals, Domestic port terminals, and three major hydropower plants among others (Adesina et al., 2021).

Another policy measure launched in 2020 is the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). The Fund will be managed by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Agencies (NSIA). The Fund will be mobilised to allow for the completion of old and ongoing large projects scattered across the country. Some of the projects to be completed by PIDF include the Manbilla power project and the 130 km Lagos to Ibadan expressway. There is also the $2 bn railway line connecting northern Nigeria to Niger and the rehabilitation of a 1400 km rail line linking Port Harcourt with Maiduguri. Other projects include the rehabilitation and expansion of the power grid to meet up with the targeted 25 000 MW of electricity by 2025 from the current 12 500 MW (Games, 2021).

The establishment of the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (Infraco) constitutes another measure put in place by the federal government to develop infrastructure in Nigeria. Infraco is mandated to finance public assets development, rehabilitate old assets and construct new ones. The corporation is expected to raise $36.7 bn for projects in collaboration with some multilateral financial institutions in Nigeria and $26.0 bn of the money will be funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NSIA and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

However, investment in infrastructure has been very low over the years, resulting in a huge infrastructure deficit. Statistics indicate that government investment in infrastructure is about $664.00 per capita per annum constituting 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP). This is inadequate compared to developed nations which invest $30 060 per capita per annum constituting 5% of their GDP (ISD, n.d.). Furthermore, data from the Debt Management Office indicates that the value of infrastructure stock in Nigeria is very insignificant compared to that of South Africa which stands at 87% of its GDP and that of the emerging economies which are 70% of their GDPs (Games, 2021).

The fact remains that investment in infrastructure will solve some of the fundamental socio-economic development problems bedevilling the country. The problem of poverty, unemployment, hunger, insecurity, inequality, poor economic growth, ineffective health care delivery, education, transportation, power and enhancing the wellbeing of the populace will be ameliorated with the availability of modern infrastructure. It is the engine room for economic growth and development.

State of infrastructure development and implications for national development in Nigeria

The state of infrastructure development in Nigeria is still below expectations despite the various legal institutional frameworks, commitments and interventions by both state and non-state actors. The state of infrastructure is a constraint to achieving socio-economic development in the country. The absence of critical and required infrastructure in virtually all the sectors of the economy (i.e. transportation, e power, communication, aviation, education, health, etc.) not only affects economic development but also efforts at enhancing the standard of living of the populace. Statistics over time have shown the high level of infrastructure deficits in the country. Nigerian infrastructural deficit is estimated at $100 bn annually. This is estimated to be 100% above the yearly infrastructure budget in the past two decades in the country (Onwuamaeze, 2022). At present, the value of infrastructural development in Nigeria is 35% of GDP compared to the developed countries with 70% of GDP (ISD, n.d.). The country requires $1.5 tn to fix the infrastructure gap over the next 10 years (Umunna, 2022). The above statistics further show that investment in infrastructure in Nigeria is grossly inadequate considering the population and the land mass of the country. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Competitiveness Index ranked Nigeria 116 out of 141 countries. The poor performance could be attributed to the poor state of infrastructure in the country. The situation is worse in the rural areas in Nigeria where the level of infrastructure development is near zero. A study carried out shows that more than $100 bn is required to address the problem of infrastructure deficit in Nigeria (Adesina et al., 2021).

Also worrisome is the rate of abandoned projects in Nigeria. Many ongoing projects are left unattended for many years by the government. The implication is that the unstable inflationary rate makes initial cost agreements on these projects unattainable. The cost of such projects increases over time. Thus, causing additional expenditure for the government. Statistics as of August 2021 indicate that the cost of abandoned projects in Nigeria is approximately 12 tn Naira (₦) (Business Elites Africa, 2020). A report by the Nigerian Institute of Quality Surveyor (NIQS) shows that there are about 56,000 abandoned projects by both the state and federal governments across the country (Business Elites Africa, 2020). Huge sums of money were expended on some of these projects before they were abandoned because of a lack of funds to complete them. Sometimes money used to finance these projects were loans collected from international and local financial institutions. Some of the projects are jointly financed by the government and private firms through PPP. The government’s inability to do correct estimations of the cost implications of these projects could be adduced for these anomalies. The implication is that a lot of scarce financial resources are wasted in the process.

The transportation and power sectors are the most affected by the problem of infrastructure deficit. The state of infrastructure in these sectors is infectious and in a state of comatose. For example, the road transport system is the most utilised and popular mode of transportation in Nigeria. This mode of transport constitutes 80% of the means of human and goods traffic in Nigeria. Unfortunately, less than 40% of the road networks are tarred with more than half of the road networks unconducive for traffic. In other words, the country has about 195 000 km of road networks, and only 60 000 km of the roads constituting 40% of the entire road network is tarred (Infrastructure Regulatory Commission, 2019). This implies that most of the roads are bad and not good for traffic. Traffic along these roads is difficult because of potholes, uneven surfaces, erosion and dangerous bends. Other reasons adduced for the decay in the road networks include using inferior materials and poor construction works by contractors. Many of the roads are not constructed in line with specifications and as such get unfit for traffic within a short period after completion. Also, the roads lacked timely and adequate maintenance. There is also the problem of road vandalism and sabotage by some local communities and road users (Babalola, 2021; Business Day Newspaper, 2021).

The finding of a survey carried out by Business Elites Africa revealed that seven states in Nigeria are the worst hit when it comes to bad roads in Nigeria. The states are: Abia, Edo, Imo, Anambra, Lagos, Rivers and Benue (Business Elites Africa, 2022). Unfortunately, these states are very strategic in terms of their economic importance. For instance, Abia, Imo and Anambra states are the trade and industrial hubs in Nigeria. The popular Aba market is in Abia state, while the popular Onitsha market is located in Anambra state. Some of the operating viable industries in Nigeria are located in these states. The roads along these states have also been linked to the south–east to the south–west zones of the country. The roads along these routes are important for the traffic of humans and goods. The recent completion of the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, named after the immediate past president of the country, Mohammadu Buhari, will ease the traffic and serve as a gateway connecting the south and other parts of the country (Ajakaiye, 2023).

Lagos state is the economic capital of Nigeria. Most of the major big private firms and companies that operate in the economy have their headquarters in Lagos. The state is also connected to the Atlantic Ocean where most of the imported goods are transported to other parts of the country. Edo state is the gateway to Lagos from the south-south, south-east and north-central. It links the economic capital, Lagos, to other parts of Nigeria. Benue state is also adjudged to be the food basket of Nigeria. Thus, the state is important in achieving the food security required for the economic development of Nigeria.

One of the implications of the poor and dilapidated road networks is that the roads are so dangerous that it accounts for the high mortality or death rate in Nigeria, after ill health. Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) as reported by Ajimotokan (2023) indicate that 41 693 people are killed annually because of road accidents along the roads in Nigeria and the number of casualties constitutes 2.82%, which was the highest in the world. Furthermore, 350 961 people were killed and 120 889 were injured because of road accidents in Nigeria from 1960 to 2016. From 2016 to 2021, a total number of 32 617 people died and 64 053 were injured in various road accidents in the country. Therefore, an estimated 383 278 people were killed and 1 240 701 people were injured in various road accidents from 1960 to 2021. Also, in 2021, more than 11 800 road traffic casualties were reported. About 10 200 people were badly injured with many losing their limbs, while 1700 fatalities were recorded. Nigerian road casualties are one of the highest in the world with an estimate of 33.7% per 100 000. Statistics show that 15 persons die in Nigeria daily because of road traffic accidents translating to the death of four people every 6 h, and 426 deaths per month (Ajimotokan, 2023; Ojo, 2022; Oyeyemi, 2017). One major reason that could be reason for high rate of casualties is the bad roads in the country.

Furthermore, the roads in Nigeria are low-speed roads with a speed range of 30 km – 60 km because of the poor and bad road networks in the country. Nigeria was ranked 143 out of 162 countries with bad road networks and it ranked 13 out of the 15 African countries sampled for study. High-speed roads were found in rich and developed countries, while the slow ones are in poor, developing countries (Uduu, 2022).

The road network is no doubt a catalyst for socio-economic development in Nigeria and it constitutes an integral part of the transport system and infrastructure in the country. The road network enhances the delivery of products from farms to the market. It provides easy access to health care services, education services and agriculture extension services. It also enhances rural development, reduces rural-urban migration, facilitates social mobility and urbanisation, and reduces poverty, unemployment and inequality. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of Nigeria. The obvious fact is that improving the quality of road networks in Nigeria is critical to achieving national development, especially the SDGs in the country.

The rail system also constitutes an important infrastructure necessary for national development in Nigeria. It is an important means of ensuring a safe and cost-effective movement of heavy goods and services. Before and shortly after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the rail transport system was the major means of transportation in Nigeria. The rail lines covered the major economic hubs of the country. They include Lagos to Kano and Lagos to Port Harcourt, via Kaduna; Lagos to Maiduguri via Kano, Minna to Baro, Nguru to Maiduguri and Ajaukuta to Warri. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is in charge of the rail system in Nigeria.

The Nigerian railway’s performance from 1960 to late 1970 was remarkable as it contributed significantly to the GDP and the transport system in Nigeria. The impressive performance of the Nigerian railway started decreasing in mid-1970s. As of 1980, the Nigerian railway was bedevilled by various operational problems affecting the financial status and performance of the NRC. The long period of non-performance led to its total collapse in the mid-1980s. The rail system has not been revitalised for effective service delivery since its collapse over four decades ago. Some of the problems that led to the collapse of the Nigerian railways include poor or bad management, corruption, and out-modern and dilapidated facilities, that is trucks, wagons, couches, tracks and communication gadgets, among others. Several efforts were put in place to revive the sector right from the 1980s, from the Management Contract agreement entered into with India in 1976, to the partnership entered with the China Railways in the 1990s. These efforts were not successful as the railway system remains ineffective. Today, most of the railway stations and yards have turned into ghost towns with no activities going on there.

Furthermore, in the year 2003, the Nigerian government went into contract with the Chinese railway to build a modern standard gauge rail system from Abuja to Kaduna. The work was completed in 2018 and was in operation until 18 March 2022, when terrorists bombed the rail line in Rijana, near Kaduna (Hassan-Wuyo, 2022). Some of the coaches were greatly damaged, nine passengers were killed, 62 were kidnapped and many others were injured. The Lagos–Ibadan standard gauge rail line has also been completed and is currently in operation. The effort has paid off as the rail system is generating a huge sum of money, thus contributing to the revenue profile in Nigeria.

The Nigeria railway recorded an increase in passenger and goods traffic between 2020 and 2022. Statistics from the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), indicate that the Nigeria Railway Corporation generated ₦1.75 bn in 2021, and it increased to ₦5.7 bn in 2021. In terms of passenger traffic, 2.7 million passengers travelled by train in 2021 compared to 1 million recorded in 2020. The NBS report also indicates that a total of 168 301 tonnes of goods were transported in 2021 as against 87 440 tonnes recorded in 2020, implying a growth rate of 92.45%. The growth rate in goods transportation led to an increase in the revenue generated from ₦281.35 million in 2020 to ₦317.57m in 2021 (News Agency of Nigeria [NAN], 2022).

The government has taken some pragmatic steps to ensure effective service delivery, security and curb corruption in the operations of the railway along the Abuja–Kaduna route. To curb corruption and block linkages in revenue generation, the government has entered into 10 years concession with Secure ID, a private technology firm to issue e-Tickets to passengers. The firm was also saddled with the responsibility of issuing identification IDs for prospective passengers along the Abuja–Kaduna route. The initiative as reported by the NRC has increased the revenue profile from ₦100m to ₦400m per month (Premium Times, 2022, April 14). In addition, prospective passengers are expected to show their National Identity Management (NIM) card as a precondition to buying an e-Ticket (Hassan-Wuyo, Vanguard, May 7, 2022). These measures were put in place to ensure adequate security of staff and passengers of NRC.

Furthermore, recent effort by the government to unbundle and commercialise the NRC is a welcome development. The NRC would be unbundled into four subsidiaries, namely, regulatory, infrastructure, operations and service (Premium Times, 2021b, November 13). The regulatory and infrastructure will be in charge of network creation, upgrades and maintenance of facilities. The operations and services will take charge of the rolling stock operation, rolling stock creation, and procurement and rolling stock maintenance. The commercialisation and privatisation of the NRC is a deliberate attempt at removing the operation from the bureaucratic bottleneck and inefficiency associated with government-owned companies (Premium Times, 2021b).

A 25 years strategy plan was recently put in place by the government. The plan was initiated to rehabilitate all the existing narrow gauge rail lines across the country and construct new standard gauge rail lines to be connected to all sea ports in Nigeria. The rail line will also be connected to state capitals, mining and agriculture clusters, and the technological hubs in the country. The plan is also aimed at ensuring that the manufacturing of vital facilities for the operation of the railways is manufactured and maintained in the country (Premium Times, 2021b).

The Nigerian waterways are the longest in Africa covering 853 km. The country is endowed with an extensive coastline of about 10 000 km of inland waterways, an extensive economic zone of 200 nautical miles as well as an additional 150 nautical miles of the continental shelf in the process. The country also controls 70% of the shipping traffic in Africa making it a major player in the West and Central African sub-region and the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) (Premium Times, 2021b, November 13). The waterways consist of various rivers, creeks, lagoons and lakes, and intra-coastal waters across the country. The two major sources of these waters are River Niger and River Benue, forming a confluence in Lokoja, Kogi state. Statistics show that 28 out of the 36 states in Nigeria are connected by waterways. Unfortunately, only 17 out of these states connected by waterways are accessible. This implies that only 30% of the 3800 km of waterways are navigable (NIWA, n.d.). The Nigerian waterways are also connected to other international waters. Some of the countries connected include Cameroon, Chad, Benin Republic, Niger and Equatorial Guinea.

The fact is that the waterways serve as a strong vehicle to drive economic growth and development. With an inland navigable waterway of about 3800 km and an extensive coastland of about 853 km, it has the potential for effective, cheap and safe movement of heavy goods and services from the coast to the hinterlands in Nigeria. The states connected to navigable inland waterways in Nigeria include: (1) Niger, (2) Kogi, (3) Kwara, (4) Benue, (5) Adamawa, (6) Delta, (7) Anambra, (8) Edo, (9) Rivers, (10) Bayelsa, (11) Bauchi, (12) Plateau, (13) Sokoto, (14) Taraba, (15) Gombe and (16) Kebbi. These states are also connected to other land-lock states or those states who have no navigable waterways. This makes transportation of heavy goods across the country easy, safe and cheap. These states are also major agriculture hubs of the country. The states adjacent to the waterways are suitable for rigorous irrigation farming and the agricultural products can be easily transported to the hinter lands.

Despite all these potentials, the sub-sector has not met up to expectations and the country has not significantly benefited from these potentials. Despite several efforts put in place via dredging of the waterways and other policy measures, the waterways are grossly underutilised and underdeveloped. According to Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (BPE, n.d.; NIWA, n.d.), the operation of the waterways has continued to decline over the years because of physical and operational constraints. The physical constraints have to do with the high rate of sediment buildups along the channels and other physical obstructions. The operational constraint includes inadequate river port infrastructure, port landwards connected to river ports, and power communication and navigation aids (BPE, n.d.; NIWA, n.d.). The consequences of these constraints include over-crowding of vessels, poor watercraft, and sunken wrecks above and below the surface which could be accountable for most of the accidents along the waterways.

The NIWA is the government institution responsible for overseeing all activities in the waterways in Nigeria. The specific functions of NIWA include the issuance of operation licensees for inland navigations, piers, jetties and dockyards. The institution also surveys, examines and approves designs and construction of inland river crafts and shipyard operations. It also grants licenses and permits for sand dredging and pipeline constructions (BPE, n.d.; NIWA, n.d.).

However, NIWA has overtime performed below expectations. One major constraint is that the institution depends solely on government subventions which is grossly inadequate for its operations. The lack of adequate funds limits their operation coverage and effectiveness. The government recently decided to concession the operational activities of NIWA, so that the Authority can effectively carry out its regulatory functions, that is issuing and controlling licenses, carrying out hydrological surveys and collecting taxes from the private operator. These concession will allow private professionals to invest their capital in the waterways. It will also lead to the effective management of this important sub-sector of the transportation sector.

The country has many airports, but the major challenge is the availability of the huge resources required to maintain them. The Nigerian Airport Authority operates five international airports and 22 domestic airports. The five international airports include: (1) Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos; (2) Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; (3) Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano; (4) Port Harcourt International Airport, Akanu; Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; and (5) Margret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar. However, only Murtala Mohammed International Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport operate at night and for 24 h. The three other international and 22 domestic airports lack the required facilities to operate at night.

The major problem is that the airports are unable to generate enough revenue that will enable them to sustain their operations and maintain their existing infrastructure. Most of the domestic state airports are moribund and can only operate skeletal services. They lack the required facilities required for a standard local airport. Some of the state governments have in recent times handed over their airports to the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to operate and maintain them. These state governments do not have the financial resources to sustain the operations and maintenance of the airports they built (Eze, 2022).

Nigeria Airways was established in 1958 to operate both domestic and international airways. It, however, could not sustain its operations for two decades because of management and operational constraints. In 1999, the corporation was liquidated. An attempt was made by the federal government in 2019 to resuscitate Nigerian Airways. The company name was rebranded and changed to Nigeria Air. Unfortunately, a sum of $1m was wasted on the rebranding of the logo as the project did not see the light of day (Business Elites Africa, 2020). The government recently launched a plane with the company logo and name. But, the event turned out to be a scam as it was alleged that the aircraft was a refurbished one owned by Ethiopian Airlines. The aircraft has been returned to the real owner, the Ethiopian Airlines (Abdullateef &Taiwo, 2023; Okeke-Korieocha, 2023; Sahara TV, 2023).

Electricity supply has been a major problem in Nigeria, and efforts at reviving this important sector have been a mirage. Nigeria generates over 10 000 MW of electricity, but only between 2500 MW and 3500 MW are made available for use for a population of over 206 000. This is fallacious compared to South Africa which is the second-largest economy in Africa. South Africa generates 50 000 MW for a population of about 54m. Statistics show that less than 40% of the Nigerian populace has access to electricity compared to over 75% in South Africa (ISD, n.d.; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission [NERC], n.d.).

From a historical perspective, the efforts at providing an effective and stable electricity supply in Nigeria started in 1956, when the government established the Electrical Corporation of Nigeria (ECN). The corporation ensures the generation of electricity via the various electricity generators located in major towns and cities in Nigeria. To complement the ECN activities, the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was established in 1962 to provide hydroelectricity across the country. The two establishments were merged and renamed, Nigerian Electricity Power Authority (NEPA). Consequent to the power sector reforms in 2005, NEPA was unbundled and renamed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) (Premium Times Newspaper , 2021a).

The Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Law allows private companies to participate in electricity generation, and transmission and distribution. Power Holding Company of Nigeria was further spilt into 11 electricity distribution companies (DISCOS); six generation companies (GENCOS); and a transmission company, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). The NERC was established as a regulatory agency. As of 2014, the privatisation process of the power sector was completed. The 11 DISCOS and the six generating companies were privatised. The government, however, has 100% ownership of the TCN (NERC, n.d.).

Power generation in Nigeria is majorly from thermal and hydro, with an installed capacity of 12 522 MW. But, the current average generation capacity is only 3879 MW. The total transmission wheeling capacity is 7500 MW, this is higher than the transmitting capacity of 3879 MW (NERC, n.d.). The 3879 MW transmitted is grossly inadequate for a country with a population of more than 206 million people. Unfortunately, it is surprising to know that Nigeria also supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, Niger and Togo. Despite several policy measures put in place by the government in collaboration with other non-governmental organisations, and huge sums of financing, the supply of electricity even for domestic consumption is still erratic. Statistics show that at an average of approximately 7.4%, the transmission losses across the networks are high compared to emerging countries’ benchmarks of 2.6% (Country Commercial Guides, n.d.)

Despite the capacity to generate electricity, the supply of electricity is far below expectations affecting efforts at industrialisation in Nigeria. The small, medium and large industries require power to effectively operate, but this has been largely constrained by an erratic electricity supply. This has led to an increase in their cost of production and cost of doing business and thus, the increasingly high cost of goods and services. Efforts at increasing the generation and transmission capacity are also truncated by the activities of the distribution companies, which are left in the hands of private firms. The distribution of electricity is also affected by the problem of infrastructure deficits, loss of the DISCOS, and inherent dilapidated and outworn facilities at the point of taking-over.

Unfortunately, the DISCOS have not made any effort at improving these facilities inherited from PHCN. Recently, some of the DISCOS were taken over by their banks as a result of loan defaults. The Ibadan and Kaduna electricity distribution companies were recently taken over by Zenith Bank. According to a report from KPMG, the recent energy crisis could be attributed to the debt of N1.644 tn owned by the Nigerian Burk Electricity Trading (NBET) plc. The debt according to the report arose because of unpaid capacity charges right from 2015 (KPMG, 2022). The takeover of the aforementioned DISCOS by the bank was reported to be duly carried out in collaboration with the NERC and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) (Salau, Daily Trust, 2022, July 21).

The number of system collapses are on the increase and reoccurring over the past 5 years. In 2022, the country experienced three system collapses in the first and second quarters of the year. The recent collapse happened on 20 July 2022, which crashed the electricity supply to zero MW, leading to a total blackout in the country. The Executive Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) attributed the recent system collapse to the power rejection by DISCOS and vandalism and destruction of networks (Sunday, Daily Trust, 2022, July 21). Other reasons adduced for the system collapse over the years include: vandalism and destruction of networks, power rejections by DISCOS and dilapidated services cables, transformers, and other equipment and destruction of networks, corruption, and all forms of sabotages by officials in charge of generation, transmissions and distribution of electricity in the country.

The challenges in the transmission and distribution subsection have made it difficult to evacuate the available generation capacity through the grid (KPMG, 2022). The deficit of infrastructure across the value chain of the power sector constitutes a major barrier to electricity supply in the country. From generation to transmission and distribution value chain, the power sector is in dire need of more modern infrastructure and upgrading of the existing ones to meet the energy needs of the country.

The Nigerian Senate has recently approved the Electricity Bill 2022. The Bill when passed into law by the Chief Executive will allow states and individual persons and firms to generate and distribute electricity. The Bill as proposed also gives legal backing to assessing renewable energy. Individuals can now generate 1 MW of electricity using solar energy sources (Salau, 2022). The Bill if rightly implemented will increase the population assess to electricity. But, this requires the political will of the government, especially in providing a conducive environment for its implementation.

The Nigerian health sector was adjudged to be one of the worst in the world. One of the major reasons for this is the decay in infrastructure in the sector. From a historical perspective, the health sector in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure was modest from 1960s to 1980s. As of this period, the available infrastructure was relatively adequate to keep service above average. Also during this period, the country’s health sector was able to relatively compete with that of other African countries and developing nations. At that time, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan was rated the best in Africa and other Commonwealth countries. The same can be said of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, and University Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Nsukka.

For the past two to three decades, the health sector has collapsed as a result of total neglect by the government. Today, the health sector has completely collapsed and the rate of medical tourism is very alarming. Over $1.2 bn is lost yearly to medical tourism in Nigeria (Munya, 2021). Also, for the past three decades, the expenditure on the health sector is only 5% of the GDP. The federal government still allocates less than 8% of its annual budget to the health sector (USAID, n.d.). This is too low compared to developed countries which devoted 30% of the budget to health care delivery (United Nations, 2020).

Some of the implications of the above abnormalities include: the collapse of health infrastructure, inadequate professional and experienced manpower, inadequate quality drugs, brain drain, medical tourism and capital flight, among others. Those who cannot afford the cost of medical tourism patronise private hospitals or succumb to fate by patronising dilapidated government health care centres and hospitals.

Statistics indicate that as of 2021, the number of government health institutions in Nigeria is 53 640 comprising 33 303 general hospitals, 20 278 primary health centres, 59 teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres. This is in addition to many private hospitals and clinics across the country. The irony of the above fact is that about 70% of the health care services are provided by private health institutions, while only 30% are provided by government health care service providers (Muanya, 2021).

The implication is that the country has witnessed growth in the number of health care service providers, without a corresponding improvement in health care delivery whether at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels. Statistics from the WHO show that as of 2021, Nigeria was rated 189 out of 191 countries surveyed in terms of access to quality health care services. The statistics further indicate that only 43% of Nigeria has access to quality health care services (Muanya, 2021; United Nations, 2020).

No wonder, the country’s health indicators are some of the worst in the world. Malaria fever, which has been eradicated in most developed countries, remains the top cause of child and even adult illness and death in Nigeria. The country still has the highest burden of malaria globally. Maternal and child health constitute one of Nigeria’s most critical development challenges. The country has the second largest number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) globally, and it accounts for 9% of the global HIV burdens (USAID, 2021). These health indicators show the poor state of health with great implications for the life expectancy of the populace in Nigeria. The life expectancy rate is also very low in Nigeria. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 54 years compared to countries such as the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) with about 98 and 97 years, respectively (Muanya, 2021; United Nation, 2020).

Despite various government efforts to address the various challenges in the health sector, the state of the health sector in Nigeria is unsatisfactory and far below expectations (USAID, 2021). One of the efforts put in place to ensure easy and affordable access to health care services in Nigeria is the establishment of the Nigeria Health Care Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2005. The major objective of the scheme is to ensure that all Nigerians have access to qualitative health care services as well as protect Nigerian citizens from the financial burden of medical bills. Unfortunately, statistics show that less than 5% of the Nigerian populace is covered by NHIS and the implication is that 70% of Nigerians pay from their income to access health care services (Oladeji, 2021). The scheme only covered the formal sector, especially federal public service. Efforts at encouraging the states and local government levels to key into the scheme have not yielded much result as only very few states in Nigeria have keyed into it. Also, the formal sector of the economy constitutes less than 40% of the population as more than 60% of the population is in the informal sector (Muanya, 2021).

Also, related to the above is the high rate of unemployment in the country. Statistics indicate that about 40% of the populace is under-employed or unemployed (Trading Economics, 2021). This scenario could be attributed to the low coverage of the scheme. The implication is that the majority of Nigerians are excluded from enjoying the benefits of the scheme. The poverty situation in Nigeria further aggravates the situation as the majority of Nigerians (70%) are below the poverty level and might not be able to afford the high cost of accessing effective health care services (Vanguard Newspaper, 2022). Thus, it is pertinent to say that the NHIS has been a failure because the majority of the populace has no access to quality health care services.

The government also recently set up a health reform committee headed by the Vice President. The committee is expected to provide the necessary support that will allow for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and the SDG 3. However, the committee’s success will depend on the government’s political will and commitment to achieving the stated mandates of the committee.

The state of infrastructure in Nigeria is very low and deplorable as revealed in the analysis above. The various efforts put in place by the government have not yielded the desired results.

Factors responsible for the state of infrastructure in Nigeria

There are many factors responsible for the deplorable state of infrastructure in Nigeria. Some of them are succinctly discussed below.

  • Inadequate funding of infrastructure projects is one of the factors responsible for the deplorable state of infrastructure in Nigeria. According to the African Development Bank (ADB), a country’s expenditure on infrastructure should be 6% of its GDP at the minimum to achieve a reasonable level of sustainable development. Unfortunately, infrastructure spending in Nigeria has been less than 5% of the GDP and much lower than that committed by developed countries (Umunna, 2022). The country requires $1.5 tn for the infrastructure gap over the next 10 years (Onwuamaeze, 2022). This implies that infrastructure development is capital intensive and the situation with revenue generation has continued to decrease over time in Nigeria. Factors responsible for the declining revenue include the global economic downturn, high rate of corruption in the country, high financial commitments to debt servicing and petroleum subsidy, mono-economy nature of the economy, high rate of insecurity, and lack of political will and commitment on the part of the government to block the high rate of revenue leakages and wastages and push for increased revenue generation, high commitment to recurrent expenditure rather than capital expenditures in the annual budgets in Nigeria among others.
  • Government inability to honour contractual agreements. The various governments in Nigeria are in the habit of not honouring contract agreements with various private stakeholders in the award and execution of projects. The same scenario often occurs between the federal government and some state governments. This habit scared away local and foreign investors. Many projects have been abandoned because of the inability of the government to honour its part of the agreement in co-funding such projects. This anomaly constitutes a major impediment to the PPP initiatives and other similar initiatives such as concessions and management by contract, among others.
  • The high rate of corruption in Nigeria is another factor affecting efforts at infrastructural development in Nigeria. Many shoddy deals are perpetuated in the award and implementation of projects in Nigeria. Despite the multiplicity of institutions responsible for curbing corruption in the country, the vice continues unabated. A report from Chatham House revealed that $582 bn has been stolen from Nigeria since independence in 1960. According to Oyedeji (2021), the high rate of corruption in Nigeria has denied the country and its populace infrastructure development creating huge infrastructure deficits in the country.

    One of the ways through which corruption is perpetuated is the inflation of the cost of contracts. The inflation of contracts seems to have been institutionalised and seen as a norm in Nigeria. The cost of many projects is highly inflated to the level that it becomes very embarrassing when compared to the real cost elsewhere. A Report by Dataphyte (Oyedeji, 2021) revealed that N1.53 tn was mismanaged by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Also, from 2018 to 2019, N90.9 bn meant for 176 projects by the Commission were reported to have been unaccounted for (Oyedeji, 2021). Recently, a sum of $30 bn was budgeted for the renovation of the National Assembly in Abuja (Adesina et al., 2021). Many professional analysts have questioned the rationality of such a huge expenditure on mere renovation. They all agreed that such money is enough to build a new one of the same magnitude and standard.

    Another way through which corruption is perpetuated is through undervaluing the quality of projects. Many projects are not executed according to specifications and standards. Fake facilities and equipment are used to execute contracts. In some situations, the contract awarded and paid for is not out rightly executed. We have cases of fake facilities and/or sites for which huge expenditures are allocated. In 2021, the NDDC was in the news because of a contract scandal. The NDDC was asked to refund the sum of N4.9 bn paid illegally to contractors for the development of infrastructure in the Oil Producing States (Adesina et al., 2021). There was also a report that a total of 22 projects were duplicated in the 2021 federal budget (Oyedeji, 2021).

    Another way is by the deliberate delay of awarded projects for years to enable the contractor to claim additional costs because of inflation. The cost of many awarded projects is dubiously jacked up with the claim that the cost of materials and personnel has increased on account of inflation. These contracts are continually re-awarded without recourse to the agreement in terms of duration for execution.

  • Another problem is that of ineffective utilisation and maintenance of facilities. Many infrastructures quickly depreciate or get damaged as a result of poor utilisation and maintenance. The ineffective management of many infrastructures by the major stakeholders utilising it is a constraint to infrastructure development in Nigeria. One of the reasons for the deplorable state of the refineries, road networks, railway, electricity and communication facilities in Nigeria is because lack of adequate maintenance.
  • Also related to the above are the activities of vandalism and various attacks on infrastructure by criminal elements. A report by SBM Intelligence indicates that power and rail infrastructure are the most vandalised and attacked in Nigeria. The report shows that the country recorded 25 attacks on infrastructure across the country between the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2022. The majority of these attacks take place in the northern part of Nigeria. The report shows that 19 of these attacks took place in the north and six in the southern part of Nigeria (Akhaine et al., 2022).

    The March 2022 attack on an Abuja–Kaduna bound train was a devastating. Explosive devices were used to blow up the rail tracks forcing the train to stop abruptly. In the attack, nine passengers were killed, over 30 people sustained various degrees of injuries and over 60 passengers were kidnapped by the attackers. The hostages were later released in batches after payment of ransom. The attack led to the suspension of train operations along the line for 6 months. The economic implication of the attack is great as the NRC lost huge revenue that ought to be generated from its daily operations. Other economic activities along the route were also disrupted.

    Another devastating attack by a terrorist was on the Abuja Maximum Prison in June 2022. More than 843 dangerous criminals, including 64 arrested terrorists, were released by the attackers. As of August 2022, 400 of the escaped criminals have been arrested, while 443 are still at large (Ayitogo, 2022).

  • Another factor is the high rate of abandoned projects in Nigeria. Statistics as of August 2021 indicate that the cost of abandoned projects in Nigeria is approximately N12 tn. A report by the NIQS shows that there are about 56 000 abandoned projects by both the state and federal governments across the country (Business Elites Africa, 2022). A huge sum of financial commitment has been expended on many of these abandoned projects. One of them is the Ajaukuta steel project which is expected to be the bedrock for efforts at industrialisation in Nigeria. The project was initiated in 1973 and it was to be commissioned in 1978. It was later abandoned in the 1990s and completing the project has been a mirage. The project has reached 98% completion as of 1998, but to date, the project is yet to be completed. Successive governments since 1999 have only paid lip service to complete the project. The present government has shown no political will to continue the project as efforts made during this regime were turned down. The report also shows that the project which was initially estimated to cost $650m will now cost $8 bn to complete (Business Elites Africa, 2022). The cost might be more considering the decreasing value of the Naira and the rising exchange rate in 2022.

    Another example of abandoned projects is the case of Nigerian Airways. Nigerian Airways was established in 1958 to operate both domestic and international airlines. A decade after independence, its services started declining because of several operational and management problems. Several efforts to improve the operation of the company did not yield the desired result. As of 1999, the company collapsed and ceased to exist as it was folded up as an airline company. In an attempt to resuscitate the company, an attempt was made to rebrand the company to be known as ‘Nigerian Air’ in 2019. Unfortunately, apart from the $1m paid for the contract to produce the rebranded logo, no other commitments have been made to date. The implication is that most critical infrastructure development projects are financed through borrowing from international agencies. The interest and servicing of such loans are paid without recourse to whether the project has been completed or not.


Infrastructure development is crucial in national development goals in Nigeria. Achieving a viable and vibrant economy depends on the availability of adequate modern infrastructure. Several efforts have been made by successive governments in Nigeria to develop infrastructure right from independence in 1960. The available infrastructure is not commensurate with the financial expenditures on infrastructure development in the county. The deplorable state of infrastructure and high infrastructure deficits in the country has made the efforts at achieving national development a mirage. Many roads in the country are bad for traffic. More than 70% of the waterways are not navigable. The railways are ineffective and in a state of comatose. Nigerian Airways is not functioning well and the majority of the airports do not meet international standards. Most of these airports cannot operate at night. The infrastructure in the health and education sectors has collapsed. One of the contentious issues for the present Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) strike is the dilapidating infrastructure in Nigerian public universities and it is the same situation in other educational institutions. It is the same scenario in the health sector as the high rate of health tourism is becoming worrisome because of dilapidated and inadequate infrastructure in most health centres.

The power or electricity sector is near collapse in the country. Individuals and private firms have to generate their power because of the erratic power supply in the country. Many companies and industries have to close down or relocated outside the country due to the high cost of operation, especially, in terms of providing electricity to power their operations. The fact remains that efforts at achieving national development in Nigeria will be futile without adequate modern infrastructure. The quest to achieve the SDG and a viable and developed economy that will compete favourably with the developed one depends on the development of modern infrastructure.


Given the conclusions above, the study recommends the following:

  • There is a need to invest more in modern technology for infrastructure development. Achieving national development and a viable economy in Nigeria requires the utilisation of modern technology to build infrastructure in the country
  • The government should improve on the drive for additional revenue generation in the country by diversifying the economy. Also, all the linkages and wastages in revenue generation should be blocked. Severe sanctions should be meted out to those involved in corruption, oil theft, bunkering, vandalism and attacks on infrastructure facilities in the country. The present democratic practice in Nigeria is too costly. Government should cut down the cost of governance by drastically cutting down on the number of political office holders in the executive. The emoluments of the legislators should be drastically cut down. The wastage associated with government expenditures should be abolished. The public institutions that perform the same duties should be merged. The rate of recruitment into the public service should be monitored and checked to avoid redundancy. This will help in financing several abandoned projects in the country and initiate new ones.
  • Government should procure modern security gadgets and other facilities that will be suitable for the effective surveillance, monitoring and protection of infrastructural facilities across the country.
  • The government should be honest, sincere and committed to fulfilling its part of the agreement in any joint project aimed at infrastructure development in the country. The private sector should be encouraged to participate in building infrastructure as part of its community responsibility. They should be allowed to invest in building infrastructure and making profits before handing them over to the government. They can build roads and have toll gates where they can recoup the capital invested and also make a profit.
  • The government should commit resources to complete the Ajaukuta Steel Company. The $8 bn required can be raised through public donations.
  • Merit and due process should be followed in the award of the contract. The government should make public each payment made to contractors on every project and their stage of execution. The government should show sincerity in the payment of contractors as stipulated in the term of the agreement.
  • The infrastructure put in place should monitor and maintain through community efforts. The immediate communities where critical infrastructure is located should be involved in monitoring and protecting such facilities.
  • The fight against corruption should be intensified. The government should block all the various leakages through which government revenues are stolen.


Competing interests

The author declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Author’s contributions

K.A. is the sole author of this research article.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards for research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the author.


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