The African Development Bank has stated that the rationale behind the establishment of regional Public Private Partnership (PPP) hubs is to stimulate more private sector led interventions in infrastructure development across the African continent. The Principal Private Sector Specialist of the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Nigerian country office, Mr. Emmanuel Akinwunmi said this at the first quarter 2015 meeting of the Public Private Partnership Units Consultative Forum (3PUCF) held on 5th March 2015 at the Nigerian Shippers Council in Abuja.
According to Mr. Akinwunmi, ‘‘the challenge in accessing project finance in the country is usually as a result of shortage of integrity and ideas rather than lack of money’’. He mentioned opportunities available within AfDB to both public and private sector agencies in the areas of funding for project structuring and execution, and capacity building.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Aminu Diko, who was represented by the Executive Director of the PPP Resource Department, Engr. Chidi Izuwah, while admitting the dominance of foreign experts in project structuring, noted that this was due to low local capacity in transaction structuring in the country.
The Forum which had in attendance, over forty participants across several Ministries, Departments and Agencies also featured a presentation of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) by Mr. Nurudeen Lawal, from the National Planning Commission. In his presentation, Mr. Lawal emphasized the importance of the role that various MDA’s must play in order to ensure the successful implementation of the NIIMP.
Representative of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Abubakar Yarima, in his contribution, identified bottlenecks to Foreign Direct Investment particularly legislation, which impedes investment in several sectors, particularly the rail and power sectors. He canvassed for a review of existing laws in these sectors.
3PUCF is a brain child of the ICRC and provides a platform for Heads of PPP Units in Federal MDAs to share knowledge and experience; and also ensure synergy in efforts towards institutionalizing the Federal Government’s PPP Programme.