Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah on Tuesday described Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as the best approach to addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure nightmare, revealing that 69 PPP projects were currently operational in the country.
Speaking at a press briefing to announce the 2019 Joint Nigeria PPP Network (NPPPN) and PPP Units Consultative Forum (3PUCF) slated for Thursday in Abuja, Izuwah said PPPs have substantial private sector involvement which not only relieves the government of the huge capital burden required in project execution, but ensures operation efficiency is reached quicker than when undertaken solely as an in-house effort.
He said efforts were on to have more PPP projects onboard in the urgent task of creating a infrastructure-sufficient Nigeria.
He noted that the NPPPN and 3PUCF event, which is being organized by ICRC, Nigeria Governors Forum and Head of Civil Service of the Federation will be sponsored by Afreximbank and PAC Capital.
Izuwah said: “A lot is happening in the PPP space in Nigeria. We’ve 69 of them so far but our deficit in infrastructure and number of PPPs is still high.
“That is why we’re putting together this event. Let people, especially heads of PPP units in federal MDAs, come and learn how to develop bankable projects that will attract investors who will want to go into PPPs. That was what 3PUCF is designed to achieve.
The theme is *Accelerating Bankable PPP Projects Development in Nigeria- The Afreximbank Project Preparation Facility (APPF) Meeting*.
“There are lots of funds in the hands of investors who are looking for bankable projects. It’s not for charity.
“PPPs take time to put together. It’s a contract that is painstakingly drafted and executed with agreed terms of reference of all parties involved. There are so many of the PPP projects happening in Nigeria.
There are many of them coming up. Uniport has a world-class shopping complex via PPP. We’re planning to have student halls for accommodation.
“Nigeria needs massive supply of private capital to address infrastructure gaps. PPPs are insulated from vagaries of government and bureaucracy. The focus is on the project and that is what makes it beautiful. It doesn’t matter which administration is in power”, Izuwah explained.
In his remarks, the representative of the Director-General of the
Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr Abdulateef Shittu, said a robust relationship exists between the states and ICRC with regards to deepening PPPs.
He said: “A lot has happened in the states. We will continue to have series of engagements with the ICRC. We want to ensure the entire states embrace the PPP spirit. 20 states have fully established the PPP office. It’ll be an independent organ that will, perhaps, be located in the office of the governor and insulated from government’s bureaucracy.
“The remaining 17 states are at various stages of passing the law. They’re working out the ways they want to structure it. Human capacity is key and that is why we love the workshop. States can share knowledge and experience.
We just got back from Turkey and discovered that many gigantic projects in that country is through PPP.
“We went with five governors. Ekiti, Yobe, Adamawa, kwara and Imo. They signed lots of MoUs but we really need have more bankable projects.
“So many projects are waiting for financiers to come in. States can barely meet their recurrent expenditures. They cannot pay salaries. If you can barely pay salaries, where is money to do infrastructure? PPP is key here like we saw in Turkey”, he said.