Extolling the Virtues of Adam Smith

F.O. Akinrele & Co. is retained for 2012-2013 as Country Legal Consultant to Adam Smith International with a mandate to deliver specialist legal support to ASI’s objectives of expanding access to infrastructure providers, Nigerian government ministries and regulatory authorities in all the key infrastructure sectors including telecoms, power & energy, water supply and sanitation and transport (ports, road, rail and aviation).

Adam Smith’s philosophies of access to world markets through free trade between nations are exemplified by the ethos of Adam Smith International (ASI), founded in response to the growing international interest in practical advice on economic and government reform, now a leading independent governance and economic consultancy.
ASI’s Nigerian subsidiary, the Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF), has won the British Expertise Development Project of the Year Award in recognition of its outstanding success based on its NIAF programme, in providing increased access to improved, reliable and affordable infrastructure services in Nigeria.
F.O. Akinrele & Co’s on-going legal mandate in supporting the NIAF programme includes determining the scope for future private sector investment and how structural and regulatory reforms can be introduced to ensure that such investment results in pro-development outcomes. The specific areas in respect of which we provide legal support are as follows:

Infrastructure and utility sector policy

  • Strategies for attracting sustainable private sector investment
  • Selecting the most appropriate private sector participation (PSP) methodology
  • Utility and infrastructure sector restructuring and market reform
  • Creation and strengthening of regulatory frameworks and institutions

Nigeria, like much of sub-Saharan Africa is badly hindered by inadequate, outmoded or even non-existent infrastructure. Weak infrastructure diminishes the productivity of individuals and the capital they employ; it therefore eradicates the natural competitive advantages inherent within a country’s assets. It creates barriers to development by restricting opportunities and raising costs thus impeding the sustainable development of the economy and stifling innovation.

According to the World Bank Investment Climate survey, 2006, poor infrastructure is regarded as either a “major or severe obstacle to the operation and growth” of around 70% of business in sub-Saharan Africa. “Good infrastructure on the other hand is the foundation upon which sustainable economic development and the fight against poverty can take place. Making infrastructure development work for the poorest in society remains a critical challenge” – Adam Smith International.