Infrastructure deficit: FG demands PPP projects from MDAs

The Federal Government on Tuesday challenged key ministries involved in infrastructure projects to come up with bankable projects that would be implemented under a Public Private Partnership arrangement.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Fatimah Mede, gave the charge while speaking at a PPP capacity building program organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Infrastructure Bank Plc.

Mede said the need for the MDAs to come up with bankable PPP projects was borne out of the conviction that the huge infrastructure challenge facing the country cannot be addressed by budgetary allocations alone.

She said based on the National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan, the county would need an investment requirement of $166bn within the next five years for infrastructure.

She noted that out of this amount, 48 per cent which is about $79.68bn is expected to be provided by the private sector alone while the public sector would provide the balance of 52 per cent.

She explained that while it was the duty of government to provide adequate infrastructure, the dwindling revenues as well as other competing demands are making it difficult for the government to meet its obligations.

The implication of this, according her, is for the government to explore reliable options such as the PPP arrangement to enable it free up scarce resources to be allocated to other spending priorities.

She, however, lamented that many agencies of government are yet to upgrade the skills of their officers to package potential bankable infrastructure projects.

Mede said unless this is done, the government may not be able to derive the maximum benefits from partnership with the private sector in infrastructure delivery.

Represented at the event by the Director, Administration in the ministry, Mr Christian Ezeilo, she said, “One of the fundamental responsibilities of government is to provide adequate infrastructure.

“Dwindling revenues and increasing competing demands are, however, making it difficult for government to meet its obligations.

“Therefore, exploring alternative options became inevitable. PPP financing is one of the reliable options.

“One major challenge to optimizing PPP financing option is inadequate capacity in MDAs to package potential bankable infrastructure projects.

“Currently, there are capacity gaps in the MDAs that hinders government from deriving maximum benefits from partnerships with the private sector in infrastructure delivery.”