ICRC wants FG to declare national emergency on infrastructure

By Racheal Ishaya
Abuja –  The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has asked the Federal Government to implement plans that will kick-start rapid infrastructure development in the country.

The acting Director-General, ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at a one-day Public-Private Partnership (PPP) sensitisation for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties.

He said that only the provision of adequate infrastructure such as roads, trains, hospitals, schools and others would provide long term solutions to the constant agitations by different groups in the country.

Izuwah mentioned some of the successful PPP projects in the country to include the concession of the Nigerian Ports, Murtala Mohammed Airport and Garki Hospital Abuja.

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“Nigeria’s huge infrastructure deficit is an opportunity to partner on a win-win basis with the private sector in virtually all economic and social infrastructure space.

“PPP offers a dependable and sustainable funding option, increased accountability, accelerated infrastructure and faster implementation of projects,” he said.

Izuwah told the lawmakers that PPP was not the same as privatisation or disinvestment of government responsibilities, rather a structure that ensured that people got value for money with improved and efficient services.

He said, however, that PPP could not succeed without the right legal framework and that was why the role of the lawmakers could not be over-emphasised in ensuring that PPP projects succeed.

“The World Bank surveys of investors have repeatedly shown that the issue of protection of legal rights is the primary concern in making decisions as to where to undertake major infrastructure projects.

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“Others are clear rules of exit, consumer payment discipline, government guarantee, judiciary’s independence and corruption index,” he said.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties, Mr Nasiru Daura, said the ICRC had given the committee new ideas to work with.

Daura, represented by Alhaji Bashir Babale, member representing Minjibir/Ungogo Local Government Areas, Kano State, pledged the committee’s commitment to making Nigeria great.

He said that henceforth, the ICRC could count on them as partners in the growth and development of Nigeria. (NAN)

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