Osinbajo clarifies BPE, ICRC roles in PPP engagements

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government has clarified the roles of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) engagements.

Osinbajo made this known on Thursday in Abuja at a webinar on “Deepening the Nigerian Infrastructure Stock through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria”.

He said that a circular recently issued on their roles, re-emphasised that the BPE would be responsible for the concession of public enterprises and infrastructure already listed in the first and second schedules of the Public Enterprises Act.

He said it stipulated that the BPE would act on behalf of the Federal Government as a counter-party of all the infrastructure projects being developed on PPP basis.

For the ICRC, he said it would serve as the regulatory agency for PPP transactions with powers to inspect, supervise and monitor the projects and processes in order to ensure compliance with relevant laws, policies and regulations.

“So it is expected that this new policy direction will provide clarity to stakeholders and foster the improvement of PPP programmes in the country.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and multilateral agencies and our development partners are urged to support the PPP policy objectives and institutional arrangements already put up by the government,” he said.

Osinbajo said as part of the new environment being created for the implementation of PPP projects, the Federal Government through the CBN, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, African Finance Corporation and other financial institutions would be creating a N15 trillion Infrastructure Fund.

The fund, he said would help to not only unlock investment from local sources, but also attract foreign private investments in infrastructure development.

“The Infraco Company will be professionally run by select managers who are chosen by internationally accepted standards.

“We will bring in the best quality individuals to manage the Infraco because most investors will want to see a transparently run Infraco and we intend to provide exactly that,” the VP said.

Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General, BPE said that infrastructure bottlenecks had posed a serious challenge to economic development.

“These are due to a number of issues around low levels of investment and ambiguous rules of engagements.

“Others are unnecessary multiplicity and sometimes duplication of roles and inappropriate allocation of risks in the infrastructure procurement processes, thereby discouraging private participation in the infrastructure field of play,” he said.

According to him, the rapid growth in population continues to put significant pressure on the already deficient stock of infrastructure.

“Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult for developing countries to compete favourably with economies resourced with higher levels of infrastructure stock in the global market,” he said.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health said PPP would help hospitals to be self-sustaining and relieve the Federal Government of more expenses. (NAN)