By Racheal Ishaya/08061266368
Abuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday in Abuja said Federal Government planned to use Public Private Partnership (PPP) to provide basic infrastructure to the people.
Osinbajo said this at the launch of the PPP Disclosure Web Portal sponsored by World Bank and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Represented by Sulieman Hassan, Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Osinbajo emphasised the role of the private sector in providing basic infrastructure in collaboration with government under PPP arrangement.
The PPP Disclosure Web Portal encourages proactive disclosure of contract agreement between government and its contractors on PPP projects.
The portal will make available to citizens and relevant stakeholders, information such as project title, type, government agency responsible, name of private concessionaire, contract sum and regular progress report on projects.
The Vice President said the provision of quality infrastructure remained a huge stumbling block to the country’s economic growth, hence the need to seek private sector intervention.
He added that “infrastructure is vital in the lives of our people. It will not only serve as catalyst for economic growth, but would accelerate employment generation and alleviate poverty.
“This administration is committed to exploring and using schemes necessary, especially PPPs to help achieve the level of infrastructure development needed in the country.
“PPP has been a resounding success in other countries and this administration is determined to make necessary changes to make PPP successful in Nigeria.”
Osinbajo said Federal Government would do all in its power to create an enabling environment for PPP schemes to flourish and promised stable government policies as regards PPP arrangements.
He added that Nigeria had PPP commitments in transport, energy, housing and health sector and was looking to deepen further private sector commitments in these areas.
On the disclosure portal, he urged Ministries, Department and Agencies of Federal Government to proactively release and upload all information regarding PPP contracts they entered.
The acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chide Izuwah, said the country currently had 51 PPP contracts valued at about 3.2 trillion dollars.
He said that the figure represented the total private capital investment stake in the provision of public infrastructure.
He explained that ICRC had 77 PPP bankable projects at various stages of development.
“We have a dream that very soon Nigerians will take high speed trains from Sokoto to Bar Beach, Lagos, Tinapa in Calabar and holiday over the weekends.”
The Country Director, World Bank Nigeria, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, said improved PPP disclosure would provide policy makers and other stakeholders with effective tool to track PPPs.
“The World Bank has carried out a disclosure diagnostic report in Nigeria.
“And from the findings, transparency and disclosure related reforms are being driven by top government echelons.”
“However, corruption and capacity in decision making continues to feature in public discourse and a culture of secrecy within government functioning remains a matter of concern.” (NAN)