A bill seeking to regulate Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria, has scaled second reading at the Senate.
This was sequel to the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Adamu Aliero(APC-Kebbi) during plenary on Wednesday.
The bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Private Partnership Regulatory Commission.
“To strengthen and enhance Commission and effectively position it in regulating the participation of the financing of construction, development, designing, operation or maintenance of infrastructure and for related matters, 2021”.
Aliero said that the bill sought to repeal the infrastructure concession regulatory commission (establishment) Act 2005 and enact the public-private partnership regulatory commission bill 2021.
The lawmaker who said that the bill was read for the first time on Wednesday, Oct. 6, added that it deal with the overall regulation of PPP which traverse the entire spectrum of leasing and management of contracts or maintenance development projects of the Federal Government.
Aliero explained that PPP involved collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that could be used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks and parks.
“Public-private partnerships often involve tax concessions, protection from liability or partial ownership rights over nominally public services and property to the private sector or for-profit entities,” he said.
He further said that one of the major challenges affecting the growth of the Nigerian economy was the huge deficit in both the areas of social and economic infrastructure; roads, railway, seaports.
“To bridge this gap, massive investments must be made in the expansion of the country’s infrastructure services well beyond the resources and capacity of the government, which has been solely responsible for the provision of such infrastructure,” he said.
He said that the bill would be very key and central to leverage on private sector investment and capacity to bridge the country’s enormous infrastructure gap through an effective framework for public- private partnership in Nigeria.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said that with very limited resources in the country, the private sector should be encouraged to participate in the development of infrastructure.
“We have to provide a safe environment for the public and the private sectors to be
convinced that their investments will provide the kind of return that they aspire to get and that there is a legal framework to protect their investments,” he said.
He thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Works for further legislative action and to report back in four weeks.(NAN)