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Published On: Thu, Aug 28th, 2014

ICRC lists challenges facing infrastructure development

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Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) said lack of continuity in governance and unacceptability of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) as procurement alternative were major challenges facing infrastructure development in Nigeria.

The Director-General, ICRC, Alhaji Aminu Dikko, disclosed this in the 2013 annual report of the commission made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The report quoted Dikko as saying that PPP arrangement had the potential of leapfrogging the country’s infrastructure potential but regretted that it was suffering some setback.

“The approach has some daunting but not insurmountable challenges such as acceptance of PPP as a veritable procurement alternative, lack of continuity following change in leadership and inadequacy of budgetary provisions,’’ he said.

According to him, absence of a stable and affordable long term financing is also another big challenge to infrastructure development in the country.

He called for long term infrastructure fund sourced from international and domestic markets to help attract more investors.

“These assets can be tapped domestically from funds reposed in the country’s banking sector, sovereign wealth fund, pension funds, insurance funds and tax revenue.

“This will go a long way in ensuring the huge opportunities for infrastructure investments in all sectors of the economy are realized,’’ he said.

Dikko said that the Federal Government had demonstrated the political will towards transforming the infrastructure landscape with the introduction of National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) as primary source for PPP project development.

According to him, a lot of savings can also be made through efficiency gains in the utilization of existing infrastructure, mainly through maintenance.

“The World Bank 2009 estimates that about one-third of Africa’s infrastructure funding needs could be met through efficiency gains.

“ Here, PPP arrangements through the ‘Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer’ (ROT) mode could play a significant role,’’ he said.

The director-general said that ROT could be a contractual arrangement where an existing facility would be given to a private entity to refurbish, operate and maintain for a specific period as a “franchisee”.

“At the expiration of the agreement, the legal title to the facility is turned over to the government,” he said. (NAN)

 

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