- Agencies Lack Capacity to Deliver PPP Projects
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) lacked the required capacity to deliver Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Prof Osinbajo spoke at the Knowledge Sharing Forum on PPP jointly organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Ministry of Finance held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
For the PPP programme to be effective, he said MDAs needed to have in-house workers with requisite skills in financial, legal, technical, procurement and project management areas to be able to deliver on projects.
He said: “As things stand, there is very limited capacity within MDAs to deliver PPP projects. Yet at the minimum MDAs should have in-house staff with requisite skills in financial, legal, technical, procurement and project management areas to be able to deliver on such projects.
“Capacity building efforts including training and availability of resource materials would be inevitable.
“In the short run however, one tried and tested way is learning by doing which can be achieved by contracting consultants to assist but in a manner that ensures eventual transfer of knowledge to the public sector. In particular, public servants have to be involved in actual transactions and negotiations.”
Key factor for attracting private sector finance, he said, was a predictable and enabling policy, legal and institutional environment.
He said the forum was another opportunity for a thorough analysis of policy, legal and institutional framework for PPPs, including assessing whether the current framework provides enough incentive for local and foreign investors alike.
According to him, Nigeria clearly requires a PPP regime that matches its ambitions.
“A closely related issue is whether we have the appropriate framework to enable the use of our very large and growing public pension assets estimated at about N5.3 trillion for the provision of infrastructure without putting these assets at risk,” he said.
Noting that the number of PPP projects that have been concluded in the country so far was quite low, he said it was partly because of unwieldy project appraisal and approval processes.
Prof Osinbajo said: “We have to find ways to help reduce the time frame for delivering projects while still ensuring that only those of very high quality are delivered. One obvious solution is improved coordination between the different parties and institutions involved in project delivery.”