By Racheal Ishaya
The acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah wants the Head of Civil Service to establish a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Officers Cadre in Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agency (MDAs).
Izuwah said this in Abuja at the Certified PPP Professional Training for PPP officers in MDAs being organised by the World Bank.
He said that the World Bank was spending a lot of money to boost the capacity of the civil servants on the complexities of PPP arrangements and that it would not be fair if these officers do not stay long in service, to apply this knowledge.
“If you look at procurement, the creation of a Procurement Officers Cadre has professionalised procurement and allowed the country to have officers who are well trained and skilled.
“PPPs are very complex technical and financial arrangement. It is very difficult, because you are looking at procurement over the long time. You are looking at 30-50 years contract in some situations.
“So you need people who are very well schooled, technically qualified to be able to do it.
“As we don’t have a cadre, what is happening now is that people in administrative cadre are assigned to do PPP officers jobs and after some time, they get posted to somewhere else.
“After this training now, the staff attending this programme may be posted somewhere else. So Nigeria may not reap the full benefit of the training they have received,” he said.
In reaction to this, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, urged the ICRC to make its case before the National Council on Establishments.
“It’s not something that can easily be introduced into the service. The National Council on Establishment (NCE) looks into areas of service structure establishment, schemes of service, cadre and so on.
“So if the ICRC wants the PPP Officer Cadre set up, it is necessary for them to present their case to the Council and it will be debated on.
“The NCE is made up of the 36 Head of Service, and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is the chairman,” she said.
In the Meantime, Oyo-Ita, promised to ensure that civil servants assigned the role of PPP officers in respective MDAs maintain the role for a longer period.
“I see a situation where our officers who are trained on the World Bank PPP projects are allowed to stay for a while on their postings to make sure that the benefit of that training is not wasted,” she said.
The World Bank is slated to train 63 officers to become World Certified PPP Professionals. The training is being done in small batches of 21 each, to ensure maximum impact.
The first batch of 21 officers from different MDAs have already completed their training and the training of the next batch is currently underway.