Tackling Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges

Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF)
West Africa
A flexible facility supporting the power and transportation sectors, urban development and climate change resilience.

DFID’s five-year, £95m Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility II (NIAF) programme provides demand-led advice and assistance to Nigerian government bodies at federal and state level as they meet the national infrastructure challenge across the power, infrastructure development finance, roads, effective cities and climate change sectors.

NIAF provides independent policy, planning, economic and financial advice aimed at removing infrastructure bottlenecks to support the growth of the non-oil economy and helping Nigeria accelerate its poverty reduction programme. NIAF’s award-winning management structures allow it to operate flexibly, mobilising support at key windows of opportunity, while retaining a strategic direction which ensures that infrastructure benefits the poorest in society.

In the power sector, NIAF’s headline achievement has been its role in the privatisation process, the most complex in West Africa. At the end of 2013, over 70% of Nigerian power was generated and over 40% distributed by privately owned companies.

The NIAF roads sector has allowed the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency to complete a Centralised Roads Database and supervise the beginning of survey work to implement it. Additionally, a roads pavement management system embedded international best practice, a formal Bridge Management System was instituted and the Federal Ministry of Works will adopt NIAF-designed technical construction standards. 

In the capital projects area, NIAF supports the infrastructure finance delivery mechanisms of the federal government, building institutional capacity and ensuring that funding for infrastructure projects, through public-private partnerships and other access to capital markets, achieve the best value for money. Thanks to our technical assistance, over $300m of capital projects were screened for cost variances in the 2022 budget, achieving significant savings. Three NIAF-supported PPP infrastructure projects additionally reached financial close.

The Effective Cities team supports cities through state governments across urban transport and development. NIAF’s urban transport work supported the launch of formal bus rapid transport in Lagos and is supporting Lagos and Abuja’s light rail construction schemes,  which will provide reliable commuter services, taking cars off the road and enabling greater labour mobility. NIAF is also supporting the first ever public transport scheme in Kano, and the existing bus mass transit scheme in Abuja. In addition, our we are promoting rubbish collection schemes to reduce pollution and disease in Kaduna and Kano, provided lighting for Lagos’ largest market and developing trailer parks which will reduce roadside parking.

Mitigating the effects of climate change is an important part of the NIAF programme. NIAF runs programmes directly tailored to Nigeria’s climate change challenges. The NIAF clean-cook stoves programme has so far produced two pilot areas to produce fuel efficient, less pollutant and cheaper methods of heating food in rural areas. We have also agreed an action plan for the promotion of on-grid clean power generation.

We have increasingly concentrated resources in the north of Nigeria, which is at risk of conflict given its higher concentration of urban and rural poverty, poor existing infrastructure and lack of institutional capacity. Our work to promote Northern Growth has had extensive impact. Over 7,000 GWh of electricity has been supplied through the northern power distribution companies. Kano and Kaduna have implemented solid waste management projects to remove street refuse, a major NIAF-supported solar power pilot programme is underway and over 1,000 people in Northern Nigeria have been employed under the NIAF-supported pro-poor labour based restoration and maintenance of rural roads programme.

Nigeria has the demographics, natural resources and economic potential to become Africa’s powerhouse in the coming decades. NIAF’s support will ensure that this happens in a way which will benefit all Nigerians and prove sustainable, leaving a legacy of improved capacity and resilient infrastructure.

DFID through NIAF is our best development partner. The contrast between NIAF and others is like day and night in terms of timeliness and effectiveness of support.
Chief Economic Adviser to the President of Nigeria