The Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Dr. Chidi Izuwah, has reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards driving Public Private Partnership (PPP) in its quest to address the infrastructural deficit facing the country.
Izuwah stated this in Lagos at the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and its 40th annual conference with the theme: ‘Addressing the Challenges of Engineering Infrastructural development in Nigeria.’
He also noted that government has made remarkable progress in its PPP initiative, adding that ICRC have achieved some level of success in the Lekki Deep Water port project, and they have also done the solar rooftop for the Ministry of Health.
Izuwah also explained that the concession of the Kanji and Sheba were working successfully.
He said many of those plants were doing half of their capacity, before they were concessioned, but with private sector investment funding through private capital, the capacity has been raised.
The ICRC boss explained that PPP changes incentive structure.
“PPP changes incentive structure, and if the PPP is not providing services, the investor gets no money. I agree that we need to do more PPP compared to the ones we have done.
“We have seen the green shoots, but it is for us to move on the highway to PPP for Nigeria infrastructure progress.
“We have don’t have infrastructural challenge, what we have are opportunities. No country can become economic buoyant without infrastructure. If we want to move rapidly in infrastructure as a country, we need include engineers.
“Finance is not the problem, we need to demonstrate how we are getting the funding and finance will come. For you to attract finance, your project must be bankable.
“There is a different between finance and funding. Finance refers to the upfront capital that you require to pay for a project, while funding refers to what you use to pay for the finance.”
Earlier in his address, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, affirmed that the state government doesn’t have any record of building collapse or unethical behaviour from members of the association.
Ambode urged the association to come up with innovative home based solutions to solve the teeming infrastructural challenges being faced in the state.
The governor who was represented at the event by the state Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Jimi Hotonu, further stated that the state government would welcome new technologies and partnership to develop the state with sustainable funding solution outside the infrastructural budget in line with international best practices.
He added: “The state being one of the first to domesticate the public procurement act, is open and welcoming to professionals within your association.
“We implore you to join hands with us to develop the state as any development plan prepared without inputs from Nigeria professional, especially well informed a group such as yours is bound to have limited success.”