Abuja, Nigeria; 20 January, 2016:Director General of the ICRC, Mr. Aminu Diko, has opined that despite the current daunting economic challenges in Nigeria as a result of the slump in global oil prices, he is positive that the articulated fiscal discipline and other economic measures of the new administration will help the country overcome its current economic challenges, and attract investments in infrastructure. He expressed this view during a visit by a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday in Abuja.
The IMF team visited the Commission as part of Nigeria’s 2015 IMF Article IV Consultation exercise. The key issues that were discussed during the meeting included the country’s infrastructure needs and gaps, available funding sources and instruments, status of key Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, and the capacity to manage fiscal risks from PPPs. The IMF team was led by Mr. Moataz Elsaid, Senior Economist, African Department.
The ICRC DG also stated that some of the key issues delaying the delivery of PPP projects in the country include the lack of resources on the part of line MDAs to package projects to the point that the private sector can find them attractive; the weak legal framework that established the ICRC which makes it a regulator without sanctioning powers; lack of the technical capacity to be able to deliver bankable PPP projects both on the part of the public and private sectors; among others.
He added that the lack of adequate capacity on the part of government agencies to undertake and manage PPP projects is compounded by the fact that there are new heads of agencies (ie Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, etc). Their predecessors who have developed competences in PPP have either left or moved to new assignments, necessitating the urgent need to build new capacities.
In his response, Mr. Elsaid said that the IMF was willing and available to help the Commission towards the fulfillment of its mandate.