By Chinenye Anuforo
Owing to the prolonged ASUU strike, which has caused untold agony to students, parents, lecturers and other concerned stakeholders, Professor Sola Aderounmu, Former Dean, Faculty of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo Ile-Ife has proposed to the Federal Government (FG) to adopt the
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model to fund the educational sector the way it has been doing in other sectors.
Speaking during The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic Saki, Convocation, on the theme Utilising Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Nigeria Aderounmu who is the also the Director, World Bank Sponsored Africa Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering explained that the concept of Public-Private Partnerships generally is not new but has increasingly become a global trend for fostering sustainable development in many countries, both in the developed and developing economies.
He said: “In plain language, there can be no meaningful development in any society or community without cooperation, partnership, collaboration, teamwork, alliance or whatever we call it. In the quest to develop a society or country, there must be due investment in identified areas of need for infrastructure, as basic infrastructures are needed to facilitate socio-economic activities that will stimulate development.”
He however said that according to development experts, the gap between the infrastructure investment need and the actual investment is substantial and keeps growing wider. “So, in order to help bridge the investment gap as the government falls short of its responsibilities, a Public-Private Partnerships panacea becomes absolutely imperative”.
Continuing, he pointed out PPPs provide a channel of procuring needed additional capital investment for public infrastructure as well as facilitating a strategy for improving infrastructure planning, implementation, operation and maintenance. “Also, PPPs enable off-balance sheet borrowing, amplify innovation and help transfer risks. All this implies that when PPPs are well designed and implemented in a balanced regulatory environment, they can bring greater impetus to development that is sustainable”, Aderounmu stated.