PPP child of necessity – FG

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Abuja – The Federal Government on Thursday said Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concept was a child of necessity and must be nurtured to fruition.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, said this at a PPP consultative forum organised by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Abuja.
She said that the concept was necessary in the government’s quest to reverse the country’s infrastructure deficit.
Daniel-Nwaobia said that to close the country’s infrastructure gap, there was need for massive investments which the government could not provide.
According to her, the PPP concept is a critical instrument that can marshal private sector investments in the country’s public infrastructure development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Urban Development Bank recently estimated the country’s infrastructural deficit at 300 billion dollars.
The permanent secretary blamed the situation on many years of under-investment and poor maintenance, adding that the decay was hampering development and economic growth of the country.
“The Federal Government believes that the private sector can play an important role in providing some of these new investments through public-private partnerships.
“In line with global trends, the era of government financing public infrastructure alone using the traditional procurement methods has since become a thing of the past.
“For this reason, Nigeria, like other governments worldwide, is looking at new ways, including PPPs, to finance its projects involving also the provision of infrastructure and services,’’ she said.
She, however, said that there was a major knowledge gap within the public sector about PPP since it was a relatively new concept in the country.
She urged officers in the relevant ministries, agencies and departments charged with the execution of PPP projects to equip themselves with the requisite knowledge to enable them deliver on what PPP project-financing held.
“This forum provides useful platform through which MDAs can meet regularly to compare notes on the progress of the PPP initiatives in their respective areas and also share knowledge on PPP generally.
“We must not only learn individually, but also be prepared to learn collectively by sharing our experiences and resources.
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“There is need for every one of us to learn from the consultants and experts working on projects with us and actively participate in conjunction with them in structuring and executing projects.
“We must also learn from past mistakes from previous projects so that we can deliver quicker, more effective and better projects in a more efficient manner through PPPs,’’ she said.
In his speech, Director-General of ICRC, Mr Aminu Diko, said that the forum was an informal stakeholder engagement platform to accelerate knowledge and sharing of experiences among PPP personnel in federal ministries and departments.
Diko, who was represented by Mr Chidi Izuwal, Director of PPP Resource Department in the commission, expressed the hope that the forum would continue to build capacity.
“It is my sincere hope that this forum will continue to build capacity and promote best practices that can deliver sustainable and successful PPP projects to actualise the Nigeria of our dreams.
“On our part, the ICRC will continue to be responsive to feedbacks, provide necessary support towards up-scaling national infrastructure stock through PPP procurement methodology,’’ he said. (NAN)

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