Building effective, quality road transport infrastructure has been described as the fastest way of driving full-scale development in African communities.
This can only be achieved through bankable Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Engineer Chidi Izuwah, Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), stated this at the maiden Nigeria-South Africa Road Transportation Infrastructure and Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) collaborative initiative held in Abuja.
“Through road networks, linking up population centers, rural communities with industrial clusters will lead to shared prosperity,” Izuwah said.
“Roads not only link up communities and cities, they also drive technology.”
He added that with Nigeria having the largest road network in West Africa, a regional road network plan was necessary as it would have a direct impact on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of West African states.
South Africa’s Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Booby Moore, said the collaboration between Nigeria and South Africa on PPP-driven Infrastructure development was vital for the continent, because of the economic size of both countries.
He promised that the initiative would spread to other economic sectors such as rail transport and aviation to ensure trade facilitation.
The Nigerian scenario
Nigeria currently has an expansive road network that spans nearly 200,000 km, but budgetary constraints have forced the Federal government to adopt a hybrid of direct budget allocation and the PPP template to meet the nation’s road transportation needs.
Consequently, the event – an initiative of ICRC and Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in collaboration with the Development Bank of Southern Africa – is to serve as a catalyst for producing and supporting West African-focused regional transport and logistics infrastructure development programme.