The Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that Nigeria would no longer enter into any partnership where it bears the risk alone.
This was disclosed during her opening remarks at the African Development Bank workshop in Abuja.
Iweala said that the federal government was working out plans that would enable every part to the arrangement has a fair share of the risk.
According to her, most Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) find it difficult to negotiate most Private, Public Partnerships as many of them do not have the legal skills.
She said: “Sometimes the arrangements are too complicated. We would like to have a legal for this PPPs that is fairly straightforward and shares risks appropriately. Some of the arrangements load virtually every risks on government while the Private Sector partner walks away with very little risk that is not going to work.”
Iweala also noted that the time for the completion of PPPs is too long saying that it has discouraged most infrastructure based MDAs to shy away from going into them.
“Ministries will not be rushing into PPPs when the time for delivery is so long and the time for policy maker is short.
If they are going to be in office for four years and PPP is not going to be realized, it means they are living office without having delivered,” she added. Okonjo-Iweala pointed out that in order to correct these seeming imbalance, there is need for MDAs to put in place not only their financial capacity, but also the legal and regulatory framework that hasten PPP projects.
For his part, Nigeria Country Director, Africa Development Bank, Ousmane Dore, posited that the Public Private Partnership is now a strong alternative to tackling the infrastructural deficiencies in the continent.
According to Dore, country’s budget and donor support have proved to be inadequate to fund infrastructural needs of most country’s in the continent.
“Government has started demonstrating political support for PPPs and the increasing regulation of PPPs as a means of accelerating growth and promoting economic equity.”
The Country Director explained that the workshop will help to strengthen the delivery of infrastructure in the public service through effective implementation of PPP projects by enhancing PPP knowledge and technical skills.
“This will also promote the implementation of global best practices through advisory support and provide capacity and institutional assistance to member countries.”