By Lucy Nwachukwu
Abuja – The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has urged Public Private Partnership (PPP) Units in Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to embrace the recently developed framework for contract disclosure of PPP project information.
Mr Aminu Diko, the Director-General of ICRC said this at the 2017 second quarter, PPP Unit Consultative Forum (PPPUCF) on Thursday in Abuja.
Diko, who was represented by Mr Mike Ohiane, the Director, PPP Resource Department, ICRC, urged the MDAs to embrace the framework as a national mandate.
The World Bank in collaboration with the ICRC recently developed a framework for Pre and Post Contract Disclosure of PPP project Information.
The mandate was developed in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2001 and global practice.
The aim is to broaden, understand and stimulate public discourse on issues of infrastructure development through PPP and enhance transparency and accountability in the concession process.
It is also aimed at strengthening public support for efforts to provide public facilities through PPP and create awareness on PPP contracts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PPPUCF is organised quarterly as a knowledge and experience sharing platform for Heads of PPP in federal agencies.
Diko said that ICRC was currently facilitating an online PPP certification training programme funded by the World Bank for MDAs and reiterated the commission’s desire to continue to provide capacity building for MDAs.
He said the recent collaboration of the commission with the Institute of Public Private Partnership (IP3) would ensure capacity building of MDAs and produce certified experts of PPP in the MDAs.
He expressed ICRC’s commitment toward providing continual regulatory guidance that would ensure development of PPPs in the country.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mrs Hadiza Usman, said the Federal Government was keen on using PPPs to address the infrastructure deficit in the country.
Usman, who was represented by Mr Todupe Talabi, the General Manager, Business Development and Joint Ventures, NPA said PPPs would also improve operations in public services in the country.
According to Usman, the PPPUCF has become an established convention that enables the showcasing of the nation’s PPPs and updating country wide knowhow and capacity.
“It is also an excellent medium for sharing experiences and rubbing minds among the MDAs on the achievements, peculiarities and challenges relating to PPPs in Nigeria.
“PPP is a contractual arrangement between a public agency and a private sector entity, through which skills and assets of the sectors are used in delivering service for the use of the general public.
“Through PPP, NPA has recorded great improvement in operational efficiency with over 26 PPP concessions and other joint ventures arrangement,’’ she said.
The NPA boss further said that PPP had enabled improvement in vessel turnaround time, improved cost infrastructure through rehabilitation and the number of wrecks removed in waterways had improved.
Mr Kolade Sofola, the Special Adviser to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo urged the need for infrastructure development in the country.
He said, “for us to develop our economy, we have to develop our economic and our social infrastructure, our hospitals, our roads, our trains, rail, bridges etc.
“It is clear that in the years to come traditional procurement is not going to be the model that we are going to use to develop this infrastructure. So PPP has to be the way forward.
“We have to find a way to develop a more coherent process to empower the MDAs to be able to attract the capital and the expertise that we are going to need to move Nigeria to the 21st century,’’ he said.