Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Federal Government has urged the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to seek alternative means of raising funds for government to meet the developmental needs of the people.
This is a result of the huge cost of providing effective security services and infrastructure to Nigerians.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the call yesterday in his office in Abuja, while receiving a delegation from ICRC, led by its Director-General, Engr. Chidi Izumah.
He said that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission is central to the government’s desire to move the nation to the Next Level of socio-economic development.
Aregbesola stated further that the provision of internal security is capital intensive, as such, there is an urgent need for Agencies of Government to explore alternative means of financing internal security services, governmental projects as well as the needed infrastructural requirements of the citizenry.
“Your Agency will be held accountable by history, if you fail to look for alternative financing now,” the Minister stressed.
He commended the leadership of ICRC for its commitment to service, saying more hands must be on deck to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to put a smile on the faces of millions of Nigerians who he said, are in dire need of government’s support.
In a statement, Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga said Aregbesola added that the practice of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the country is cost-intensive and not enough to give hope to Nigerians, but to encourage a private sector-driven economy where government plays a supervisory role.
The Minister expressed optimism that the plan of his Ministry to transform the Custodial facilities of the Nigerian Correctional Service Centres to Enterprise Centres would further boost the economic drive of the Federal Government.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, MON, said the Ministry has been generating revenue for the government through its Expatriate Quotas and licensing of places of worship for statutory marriages, among others.
Ehuriah called on ICRC to support the Ministry and its Agencies in order to effectively achieve their mandates of providing internal security and promoting citizenship integrity.
In his remarks, the Director-General, ICRC, Engr. Chidi Izumah said, his team came to rejig its collaboration with the Ministry and its Agencies, so as to move the country to the next level of socio-economic development in line with the policy thrust of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
Izumah assured that the commitment of his Agency to the growth and development of Nigeria is ‘cast in stone’, saying it would continue to encourage and seek alternative funding for the government’s projects and programmes.