From: AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
Acting Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Nurudeen Rafindadi, has said that the Agency would not relent in engaging the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), in the establishment of toll plazas across the country.
Rafindadi said the establishment of toll plazas in the country would be realised through public-private partnership.
He gave the assurance when he received, in audience, Director-General of ICRC, Chidi Izuwah, who led the management team of ICRC to FERMA, in Abuja.
Rafindadi said there was need for inter-agency collaboration, saying it was essential if the country desired to have a healthy and efficient road network.
FERMA, Rafindadi added, would discuss with ICRC on the necessity to visit and tour India with a view to studying the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) model of concessioning which has tremendous potential.
With the visit, Rafindadi said the team aimed to see how it could be replicated in Nigeria since India and Nigeria share similarities in so many aspects.
Rafindadi further said the public private partnership was an excellent model and the future of roads infrastructure development with so many advantages, including increased revenue generation, employment opportunities and toll collection.
In his remarks, Izuwah said there was an urgent need to explore areas of collaboration between the two agencies of government.
The collaboration, according to Izuwah, would be carried out with other agencies, including similar state-level public private partnership units.
This, Izuwah said, would aim at implementing a cohesive national legal policy and regulatory environment that is conducive to private sector investment in Nigeria’s infrastructural projects.
He said the ICRC was expected to monitor the implementation of such arrangements according to best practices.
The ICRC, he added, would also ensure that the desired service standards were attained and maintained, with value for money assured, even as he said the private sector operators were in a position to recoup their investment in a fair and equitable manner.