Government approves $8bn PPP projects in 8 years –ICRC

Elizabeth Christopher

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Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah

Nigeria  approved  Public Private Partnership’s projects (PPP) worth about $8bn between 2010 and 2018.

The Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Chidi Izuwah who disclosed this at the joint PPP network meeting in Abuja, also said that:  “as at the end  of  October,  the  commission  had  granted  nine Outline  Business Case   and  nine Full  Business  Case  Compliance  Certificates  for  2019”.

According to him this brought  the  total  compliance  certificates  granted  since  inception of the commission  to  76  OBCs and  31  FBCs’  certificates.

Engr. Izuwah said the approved projects were based on the regulatory guidance of the ICRC.

The forum was created as a mutual vehicle to provide a one-point platform for the Federal Government’s PPP units and enhance strategic enablers within the PPP ecosystem.

Speaking on the activities of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Prof. Izuwah said as of June 25 this year, there were 69 post-contract PPP projects under implementation  at the  ICRC’s  Projects  Disclosure  Portal.

He noted that the portal is  the  first  disclosure  portal  in  the  world,  established by the ICRC in  collaboration  with  the World  Bank.

“As  of October 31,  2019,  there  are  139  pre-contract  projects  at  the Development  and Procurement  phases  at  the  ICRC  website” he said.

“Between  2010  and  2018,  under  the  regulatory  guidance  of  the  ICRC,  the  Nigerian Government  has  approved  the PPP  projects  worth  almost  $8bn.”

The  latest  of  these  certificates, according to him,  is  the  OBC  Compliance Certificate  for  the  22  teaching  hospitals  upgrade  and  the  FBC  Compliance Certificate  for  the  Automated  Ticketing  System  for  the  Nigeria Railway Commission.

Speaking on the objectives of the conference, he said it sought to identify as well as improve the bankability of selected PPP projects in Nigeria with a view to accessing project funding from the African Export-Import Bank.

 On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Adamu Aliero, said the Senate would amend the ICRC Act to attract private sector’s investment.

He said: “At the Senate, we believe that the PPP is the only way to fast-track infrastructural development in Nigeria.

“We are committed to this and we are ready to amend the ICRC Act, we will come up with laws that will attract the private sector’s investment, laws that will promote security across the country so that we can attract both the local and private investors,”

“The 2020 budget has over 500 road projects to a tune of about N4tn to be funded by the Federal Government, but the fund available is not more than N147bn. In this situation, we have no option but to adopt the PPP arrangements.

“The National Assembly will continue to partner all agencies to ensure that the PPP succeed in Nigeria.”

For the Director, Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Isah Halidu, the amount needed to address the infrastructure deficit in the country could not be provided by the government alone.

 “We often say that funds are flying around the world, and if we must attract these funds we must have the right environment. The government will stand with the National Assembly to make sure the PPP succeeds in Nigeria.”

The Executive Director, Strategy and Research, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, (NGF) Dr Lateef  Shittu, described the PPP as a veritable platform for addressing the huge infrastructure development deficit in the country.

Shittu reiterated that the NGF would continue to drive the campaign for Public Private Partnership bill  to be passed into  law in all the states identify with the PPP initiative as a solution to infrastructure development.

Suzan O