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Professionals urge PPP strategies to bridge infrastructure deficit

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Some professionals in the building and construction industry have called for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to accelerate infrastructure development in the country.

The professionals made the call at the Website Unveiling of Nigeria Construction and Infrastructure Summit (NCIS) Group in Lagos on Tuesday.

The President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Mr Olumuyiwa Ajibola, said there was need for the establishment of effective institutional and financial framework that would aid growth and development infrastructure.

Ajibola said that there had not been active participation of the private sector in development of infrastructure which, he said, was the cause of poor infrastructure development in the country.

According to him, the private sector need to be encouraged to actively participate and invest in infrastructure.

“Infrastructure is the ground on which all sectors of the economy can play. It is the bedrock of economic development. A well developed infrastructure is not only essential for attracting foreign investments but it also can enhance expansion and lead to reduction in poverty.

Ajibola said that NCIS Group was aimed at initiating efficient policies and strategies that would aid effective infrastructure delivery in order to bridge the nation’s infrastructure deficit.

“The Group is aimed at attracting both local and foreign investors to invest in infrastructure. It will create infrastructure data base; which is key to infrastructure development, develop experts to manage, monitor and grow infrastructure development of the country.

“The stakeholders involved include relevant government agencies, ministries, equipment manufacturers, banks and finance organisations, contractors, constructors, academia and all those who can facilitate effective infrastructure delivery,” Ajibola said.

Contributing, Mr Tonye Braide, Past President of Nigeria Institute of Architect (NIA), urged the Federal Government to develop the political will to tackle the nation’s infrastructure deficit.

Braide said that the government could address the infrastructure challenge if determined to do so, saying that what was needed was an appropriate framework for effective infrastructure delivery.

According to him, infrastructure is life and if the nation’s infrastructure challenge is not addressed, the economic hardships in the country may persist.

“Even security of the infrastructure is not guaranteed because there are over 500 checking-points on Nigeria roads.

“To address the infrastructure challenges, professionals are now coming up with consortium to assist government proffer lasting solutions to the menace.

Also speaking, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Ltd., Mr Johnson Chukwu, said that government alone do not have the financial capacity to solve the nation’s infrastructure deficit.

Chukwu said the government should come up with appropriate financial, legal, technical and regulatory framework that would allow private capital investment in infrastructure.

“The issue is that the government have not accepted the fact that it cannot fund infrastructure development of the country.

“In 2020 budget, only N2.48 trillion is allocated to capital projects. This is not enough for a country with huge infrastructure deficit like Nigeria.

“To bridge the infrastructure gap, there is need for PPP engagement and collaboration between all stakeholders in the economy,” Chukwu said.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi

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