By Arabinrin Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello

President Bola Tinubu’s recent approval of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF) during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on 25th March, 2024, signifies an important step towards addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure needs. This fund is a specialized fund established to address Nigeria’s infrastructure needs. It will serve as a special-purpose vehicle aimed at fostering development across key sectors, including agriculture, transportation, ports, aviation, energy, healthcare, and education.
President Tinubu’s decision to merge the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund into the new RHIDF is aimed at making operations more efficient and accelerating the delivery of projects. By merging the two funds, it ensures that the RHIDF’s objectives, such as creating innovative investment opportunities and executing strategic national projects are achieved in a timely and effective manner.

The RHIDF is set to raise $14 billion as start-up capital, with a focus on critical national projects, particularly in transportation. These projects include the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and Lagos-Kano and Eastern Rail Lines. President Tinubu also underscores the importance of enhancing agricultural infrastructure to boost food security and reduce post-harvest losses, further emphasizing the fund’s multifaceted approach to development.

The Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF) promises to be a game-changer for Nigeria, offering a pathway to address the country’s long-standing infrastructure deficit. This was disclosed after this week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting by the Tax Boss himself, Dr. Zacch Adedeji, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Adedeji emphasizes the transformative potential of the RHIDF in driving economic growth and connectivity across various sectors. With its focus on inclusive progress, the RHIDF aims to leave no community behind, ensuring that all Nigerians benefit from improved infrastructure, job creation, and enhanced economic opportunities. It will also eliminate the need for borrowing for infrastructural development.

For instance, it will prevent situations such as the planned borrowing for the construction of the Lagos-Kano-Maiduguri railway project, which at a point sought funding from China. All this is essential for bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gap, estimated at over $858 billion, and ensuring sustained national growth and development.

Furthermore, when the projects kick off in earnest, it will create direct and indirect jobs, thereby creating employment opportunities for Nigerians. It will boost production and invariably, the economy of the country will also be affected positively.

As we look ahead to the launch of the RHIDF, following the presentation of a supplementary budget to the National Assembly, our expectations are high for tangible results that will benefit all Nigerians. With the RHIDF as a catalyst for change, Nigeria embarks on a transformative journey toward a future defined by progress, prosperity, and inclusivity.

This step ushers in a new era of hope and opportunity for our nation. Thank you, Mr. President, for your dedication to building a brighter future for all Nigerians.

• Arabinrin Aderonke, an award-winning investigative journalist and 2016 Finalist, CNN African Journalist Award, currently serves as Technical Assistant – Broadcast Media, at the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS