`Infrastructure is a strategy not an Economic Stimulant`

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Bennett Oghifo

Infrastructure should not be viewed as a stimulant of the economy but as a strategy for development, Lagos State Commissioner Ministry of Works & Infrastructure Engr. Ganiyu A. Johnson has said.

“We need to stop thinking about infrastructure as an economic stimulant and start thinking about it as a strategy,” Johnson said at the 2016 extra-ordinary general meeting of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, held recently in Lagos.

He quoted Roger McNamee, “Economic stimulants Produce Bridge to nowhere. Strategic Investment in infrastructure produce a foundation for long – term growth.

The theme `Guiding Firms on Consultants Selection and Contracts,` of the event, he said was being used to showcase the inherent capacity existing in the consulting engineering sector of the economy and to further enable the building of synergies between stakeholders, adding that this was a very laudable venture.

He said the current global trend in engineering necessitates the exposure of all in the engineering family to state-of-the-art technologies deployed globally to execute infrastructure projects in power, infrastructure, telecommunications, energy and hydrocarbon etc with a resultant cost savings, durability, minimal hazard, quality and timely delivery of such projects.
He said under the present administration in Lagos State there was still a lot of attention and importance given to the development and facilitation of world class infrastructure to support the State’s growing population and serve as the critical development driver of the State’s vision of being Africa’s Model Mega City, global economic and financial hub.

“Lagos State is and will continue to be a land of opportunities and as such it is our responsibility to provide an enabling environment for individuals and corporate entities to realise their goals and objectives.

“Infrastructure provision we know requires the commitment of enormous resources in terms of money, time and manpower to provide effective and sustainable services. Successive governments in the State have over time committed and will continue to commit huge resources to provide these infrastructures evident all over the State. In this age and time where resources are getting scarce and there are contending demands on government funding, it thus behoves on the practitioners in the sector to explore opportunities for the sustainable provision of such durable and effective service.

The government, he said was committed to opening the economy and to improve on the rate at which it served the people of Lagos State.

The Lagos State Government, he said embarked on some iconic projects while several key others have been identified to be implemented through Public-Private-Partnership. “It is the belief that there is a need to allow private sector investors with requisite experience showcase their inherent potential in their sector of comparative advantage while the state government will provide the necessary enabling environment. “The positive synergy embedded in PPP will properly dimension and align the risk inherent in the project and allocate such risk to the best partner for mitigation. This procedure enables sustainable service delivery, and value for money on such projects is justifiable.

“Some of such, projects are the 4th Mainland bridge connecting Eti Gsa/ Ibeju Lekki Local Govt to Ikorodu Local Govt and the Itoikin – Ikorodu road population and serve as the critical development driver of the State’s vision of being Africa’s Model Mega City, global economic and financial hub.

Other projects envisaged are the expansion of Awolowo Way with elevated highway from the Airport Hotel to Alausa to decongest the traffic along Allen Round-about, Kudirat Abiola Round-about and Agidingbi round-about.

He said the Allen/Opebi Road to Odo lya-link bridge at Ogudu to the 3rd Mainland Bridge. These are just some projects envisaged for the Ikeja traffic improvement plan which is currently on the drawing board amongst others.

On expression of interest (EOI), Adebayo Adeniyi, a facilitator said there should be a brief description of assignment; implementation period of the assignment; shortlisting criteria; attention to the WB conflict of interest policy; attention to the fact that consultants may associate with other consultants to enhance their qualifications; delivery address for the EOI and submission deadline; association of Consultants; Consultants are free to associate to enhance their qualifications.

He said association can be in form of Joint venture; sub-consultancy; Joint venture and that each partner is jointly and several.

According to him, “Each partner is jointly and several liable; Firm providing core expertise is the lead partner; each partner must be reasonably qualified to take over the roles and responsibilities of the other partner in case of withdrawal; sub-consultancy.