The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), on Monday commenced training of procurement officers from 50 Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on how to identify and design bankable Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
The acting Director-General, ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah made this known in Abuja at the opening of the first training on PPP fundamentals such as strategies, methods and project structuring techniques.
The training is being done in collaboration with the United States Institute for Public-Private Partnership (IP3) and all Federal Government MDAs are scheduled in batches which will run for one year.
Izuwah said the training was necessary to build the skills of government officers responsible for PPPs to achieve the National Infrastructure Master Plan.
“If a project is designed in a way that is bankable, it makes it easy for the private sector to have appetite.
“So what we are doing is to make sure that public institutions are equipped with the right tools to access and identify projects that can be done through PPP arrangements,’’ he said.
Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said there was an urgent need to cultivate partnerships between public and private sector to upscale the nation’s infrastructure needs.
Mustapha, represented by Mrs Amina Shamaki, the Permanent Secretary, Special Services said “Federal Government recognises that our infrastructure deficit remains the most serious impediment to speedy growth in virtually all sectors of the economy.
“The era when government has the sole responsibility to provide infrastructure and other services is no longer sustainable because of dwindling revenues and other competing needs.
“I hereby on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari direct all MDAs to adopt PPP procurement as a preferred procurement vehicle to develop public infrastructure and services,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr John Davie, one of the Facilitators from IP3, said investors around the world were interested in investing in infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
Davie, also the author of “The PPP Book’’ said investors interest could be dampened if the country was not able to present proposals of structured bankable projects to prospective investors.
“PPP is a long term investment and investors won’t put their money under undue risk.
“They will only invest if your project meets these terribly high standards.
So through the IP3, we hope to improve the skills of procurement officers , so that Nigeria can attract these private investments,’’ he said.
The Federal Government has estimated that it requires about 245 billion dollars to achieve the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan by 2020
The needed fund is expected to come in a 4:1 ratio between the private sector investments of 195.98 billion dollars, to government investment of 49.15 billion dollars.