From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Federal Government has disclosed that it received 38,051 citizenship applications and recorded a total business applications of 45,751 from September 2018 to October, 2020, leading to an improvement in income generation for the government.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at the 4th Quarter 2020 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Units’ Consultative Forum (3PUCF) of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), hosted by the Ministry of Interior.
He called on the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, (OHCSF) to professionalise the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government.
He said that the call for professionalising the PPP Units in all MDAs has become necessary especially with the infrastructure gap bedevilling the country as well as to ensure continuity, reduce public sector administrative cost, allows for shared risk, reduce the problem of public sector budget constraints and to also provide for easy monitoring of PPP projects across the country.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director, Citizenship and Business Department of the Ministry of Interior, Barr (Mrs) Moremi Soyinka- Onijala, stated further that it has become imperative for government to look beyond its budgetary provisions for infrastructure development and embrace Public-Private Partnership (PPP) options that has been globally recognised as project delivery process.
Dr Belgore emphasized that, in line with the recent trends in PPP, his Ministry was able to attract private sector investors for the development of some identified PPP projects in the Security sector, especially in the areas of Expatriate Quota and Citizenship Automation; Processing of non-judgemental Visa applications globally, Immigration and Borderline Management; Production of Emergency Passports and recently; the Expansion and Development of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS)’s Shoe and Garment Factories in Aba, Abia state and a Leather Factory in Janguza, Kano State which he said, off-take and Concession Agreements are at the verge of being finalised for signing.
He added that the Ministry also has a number of pipeline PPP concept projects under various stages of development, notably in the areas of Staff Housing, Correctional Service Farmland Development, Land Swap projects as well as other PPP concept projects initiated by the Federal Fire Service, among others.
He said that ‘through PPP, the Ministry recorded a total Business applications of 45,751 as well as 38,051 Citizenship applications from September 2018 to October, 2020, leading improvement in income generation for Government by the Ministry.’
Dr Belgore who lauded the support of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in ensuring the projects have value for money and beneficial to all stakeholders encouraged every member of the forum to take advantage of the knowledge-sharing session and experiences of other MDAs for speedy and successful delivery of PPP projects for the benefits of citizenship integrity and for the promotion of good governance of the nation.
In her remarks, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to be proactive in handling PPP projects and to also ensure focus on projects that would generate high returns on investments, with a view to ploughing back the profits generated to the economy.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office, in her office, Mrs Ibiene P Roberts, the Head of Serviced implore MDAs to review the projects that have been lingering for too long and identify challenge areas that the forum can be of assistance.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr Chidi Izuwah, noted that ICRC has continued to deliver its mandate, despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions across the country.
The Director General who was represented by Mr. Mike Ohiani commended the Ministry of Interior for hosting the 4th Quarter 2020 Session of the Forum.