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Expert wants banks involved in Public Private Partnership projects


ABUJA – An Indian Foundation has urged the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to ensure effective training of banks’ management staff to ensure successful execution of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects in Nigeria.
Mr Clerian Thomas, the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
IDFC) is India’s leading integrated infrastructure finance player providing end to end infrastructure financing and project implementation services.
Thomas said that bank personnel being one of the major stakeholders in infrastructure development should be properly trained on various issues on PPP projects.
“Banks provide as much as 70 per cent of PPP projects’ funds. If a project costs N1 billion, you can be sure that N700 million will come from the banking system
“So, the banks have such a large stake in such projects. For me, it’s good for the interest of successful implementation of projects.
“There is need to train the banks’ staff and make sure that they are part of the entire process of PPP,’’ he said.
According to him, though PPP agreement is usually between the government and private sector with banks being ultimately the biggest stakeholders in the business.
He said that it would be important to train the banks to understand the process of the project so that financing would not be held up.
Thomas said that delayed financing by banks had been identified as one major problem in implementing PPP projects in many countries.
This, he said, was because the banks were not properly educated on the operations and structures of PPP projects.
“The banks need to be carried along even in the drafting of some of the projects and they need to be carried along on in the entire PPP process,” he said.
He advised the government to ensure stability in the way PPP projects were handled in the country to enable them to yield desired results.
He said that cancellation and policy changes in projects hindered their effective implementation.
“I think stable policy regime is what is most expected of government for successful implementation of PPP projects.
“So, ensuring stability in the way projects are implemented and delivered and having a regime of good PPP laws will give enormous comfort to investors,” he said. (NAN)

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