Following the new Federal Government’s circular on the administration of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) shall be responsible for the concession of affected assets. This was disclosed by the Vice President and Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
In addition, he said, the BPE shall act on behalf of the Federal Government as the counterparty on all infrastructure projects being developed on a PPP-basis while the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) continues to act as the regulatory agency for PPP transactions with powers to inspect, supervise and monitor projects/processes to ensure compliance with relevant laws, policies and regulations.
Osinbajo who made the clarification via zoom at the webinar organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) at the weekend, said it is expected that “this new policy direction would provide clarity to stakeholders and foster the improvement of PPP programmes.
“Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as the multilateral agencies and our development partners, are urged to support the PPP policy objectives and institutional arrangements already put up by Government”.
He, however, said that the Federal Government was willing to dialogue and incorporate suggestions from stakeholders with a view to further strengthening Nigeria’s PPP framework, adding that as part of the new environment being created for the implementation of PPP projects, the Federal Government through the CBN, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and African Finance Corporation and other financial institutions, will be creating a N15 trillion Infrastructure Fund that will help, not only unlock investment from local sources but also attract foreign private investment in infrastructure development.
“We will bring in the best-qualified individuals to manage the Infraco because most investors will want to see a transparently run Infraco, and we intend to provide exactly that. This is to ensure that the investors’ resources are applied only to the best possible projects after the management of the company has looked at them and chosen them carefully, and because they are commercial projects, we have to make sure that the income streams from them will be more than sufficient to assure investors that their investments will be profitable”, he stated.
The Vice President noted that the current deficit in Nigeria’s infrastructure presents both a challenge and an opportunity, saying that “For too long we have dwelt on the challenges but we must now redirect our focus to the opportunities, using PPPs as a springboard,” he said.
The NCP Chairman said despite Government’s interventions over the years, Nigeria still faces a huge infrastructural deficit, which is constraining rapid economic growth, adding that according to the Nigerian Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan (NIIMP) and the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan, Nigeria needs up to $3 trillion over the next 30 years to bridge the infrastructure gap.
In his speech, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh said the Federal Government had taken a significant step towards making Nigeria an investment destination for infrastructure development by issuing the circular and that further to it (circular), the BPE would provide support to MDAs on PPP transactions and contract management.