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NIGERIA REQUIRES $2.9TRILLION TO FIX INFRASTRUCTURE OVER NEXT 30 YEARS, SAYS ICRC
Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Joe Abah
Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has disclosed that Nigeria requires no less than 2.9 trillion Dollars to put in proper place her infrastructural needs for the overall growth of the economy following the current dwindling oil revenues.
In the face of the low level flow of funds to federation account, the commission has also thrown its weight behind the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as the way forward.
It listed key benefits of the PPPs to include rigorous project preparation, delivery of whole life solution, shifting of focus to service delivery, pragmatic approach to infrastructure development and service delivery among others.
The commission noted that the dream of the average Nigerian is to have good and adequate electricity supply, good roads, affordable housing scheme, access to cheap food, qualitative education for children as well as access to paid employments.
The Director General of ICRC, Aminu Dikko made the disclosure yesterday while delivering a lecture on, ‘Implementation of the Public-Private Partnership in Nigeria’ at the 4th lunchtime Reforms Seminar Series, organized by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms held in Abuja.
The first edition of the seminar series focussed on Pension Reforms, given the passage of the Pension Reform Act of 2014, the second was on the Challenges of Budget Implementation, particularly in an age of austerity while the third edition was on Public Procurement in Nigeria.
Represented by the Head of Special Project of the ICRC, Emmanuel Onwudi, Dikko stressed that given government’s dwindling resources over the years, many countries, including Nigeria embraced the Public-Private Partnership approach for rapid infrastructure development their economies noting that the move has began to yield positive results following the massive Private Investors’ interest in the programme.
According to him, despite its gains, PPP arrangements is faced with challenges, which includes lack of sufficient funding, skilled manpower, technical nature of contracts, just to mention a few.
Earlier, in a welcome address to the occasion, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Joe Abah said that it is clear that even in developed countries, government cannot meet all its expenditure needs through normal budgetary provision.
He said that as a result, many developed and developing nations have in recent years increased their reliance on the Public-Private Partnerships to finance capital asset acquisition and operation. ‘’PPP comprises 10 percent of the capital budget provision in the UK, 20 percent of the capital budget in France and 15 percent of the capital budget in South Korea. In Portugal, PPP represents as much as 28 percent of the capital budget, while the position in Africa is low but growing.”
He nevertheless said PPPs are not without their challenges, PPP contracts can be quite technical in nature, not many people devote the time and expertise required to ensure that PPP contracts are fair and balanced, the unpredictability in the application of the rule of law can be a challenge in many developing countries.
“PPPs require a stable environment for the enforcement of contracts, policy somersaults and unilateral cancellations of contracts midstream do not promote investor confidence,” he noted.