Ambode: PPP Key to Lagos Development Strategy

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Segun James

Realising that the state government cannot solely meet the infrastructural need of the state given the rapid growth in population, the Lagos State has adopted the Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a viable strategy to power the desired growth in physical and social infrastructure in the state.

As part of this move, the state government is financing some of its major projects, including the 4th Mainland Bridge through the PPP initiative.

The state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, disclosed this in his address at the 2017 Punuka annual lecture with the theme: ‘The Role of Public Private Partnership in Infrastructural Development’ held at the Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island yesterday.

The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule, said globally, PPP has gained wide acceptance as a sustainable strategy for the financing and delivery of public infrastructure because “government revenue cannot be relied upon as source of funding for developmental projects.”

He lamented that this is becoming clearer as a result of “reduction in government revenue occasioned by dwindling oil prices and increasing need of the people.”

Ambode admitted that the state government has effectively explored the PPP model in the delivery of critical infrastructure that has made significant impact on the socio-economic growth of the state.

He stressed that the government is determined to explore the PPP model in such areas as road network expansion, transportation, housing and environment, hence “some critical projects we have identified to be implemented through the collaboration with the private sector include the 4th Mainland Bridge, the Okokomaiko road expansion project, Oko-Itoikin road dualisation and Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itokin-Ijebu-Ode road projects.”

The governor said some good success stories can be seen in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that has continued to make “tremendous impact” in the public in the public transportation system; the on-going EKO Atlantic project and the Lekki Free Trade Zone in which multi-billion dollar investments are being established.

He reiterated that given the role the PPP model will continue to play in the infrastructural development of the state, even though in adopting the strategy, “government is not abdicating its responsibilities but essentially releasing scarce resources for other equally important projects thus creating a win-win situation for the government and the private enterprise.”

Speaking earlier, the Senior Partner of Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), the organisers of the Punuka annual lecture series, said the reason behind the theme of the lecture was borne out of the dire socio-economic need for infrastructural development in Nigeria.

Idigbe opined that traditionally, government has always been responsible for the provision of infrastructure in the society and this was done from fund through government treasury raised through taxes, adding that “private participation is needed for the enhancement of infrastructural development.”

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