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Nigeria: Oil drives infrastructure in delta

The people of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger delta have yet to see many benefits of the natural resources under their feet. But Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers State, the most populous delta state, is trumpeting the measures he is taking to improve his state’s infrastructural deficiencies. He tells Euromoney that in Nigeria’s federal system, the 36 states get 30% of government revenue, while the nine delta states get additional cash thanks to their importance in the country’s petrochemicals industry.

Port Harcourt

Charismatic 43-year-old Amaechi has scraped together billions of dollars of this cash as well as foreign and private investment over the past few months. The results, he hopes, will be a ring road, a monorail and a 60-storey Hilton hotel, all in Port Harcourt, the fast-growing capital of Nigeria’s oil industry.

The ring road will cost $1.1 billion, 60% of which will be financed by US-based private-sector investors through a mixture of debt and equity. The Rivers State government itself and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) will finance the remaining 40%. The AFC, a Lagos-based organization chaired by Nigeria’s central bank governor and similar to the International Finance Corporation (the World Bank’s commercial arm), is leading a consortium of Nigerian banks in providing counterparty funds.

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