Pension Fund Key to FG PPP Plan, Says ICRC Boss

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Ugo Aliogo

The acting Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, has said that private capital funds as well as the pension fund are key drivers to federal government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) plan.

Izuwah, who made the remark in Lagos at the 2017 Institute of Directors (IoD) Fellows Investiture ceremony recently, said piecemeal funding of projects would not yield the desired transformation in the country.

Therefore, he noted the need for active involvement of the private sector.
He also stressed the need for significant improvement on infrastructure financing annually.
“What is important is that we need to put forward bankable projects because the private sector is interested in bankable projects.

“Bankability requires that if the private sector invests, there must be returns in investment. We are looking for the right mechanisms for these projects, and provide the right frame work that can attract investors,” he noted.

Continuing, Izuwah further explained that there was need for a partnership between the private sector and the government, adding that as a regulator, the ICRC provides the framework that revolves around public involvement, security of investment, affordability, and public interest that the investors are protected.

According to him, “You require a pool of capital and the pension fund is one of such capital
“Pension funds will benefit from investing in infrastructure. Therefore the only way we can do that is through PPPs. They will not give their monies to government to build because when government does it there is no return on investment.
“But if the private sector does it there is return on investment. Infrastructure is like an antidote to inflation,” he said.

In his remarks, the President and Chairman of Governing Council IoD Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, said the role of infrastructure was critical to the growth and advancement of any economy, stressing that government alone cannot bear the financial burden of providing adequate infrastructure in the economy.

He also stated that the integration of the private sector players in the concession, planning, implementation and advancement of infrastructure have become imperative in the country; therefore the government introduced the PPP infrastructural growth plan.