BPE seeks private partnership to bridge $3tr infrastructure gap
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, has said the next phase of Federal Government’s Reform and Privatisation Programme will focus on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with the view to correcting the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.
Okoh made the remarks when he received a delegation from the World Bank, led by the Senior Economist (Economics and Private Sector Development), Mr. Volker Treichel, which visited the Bureau in Abuja, recently.He noted that the country’s infrastructure gap is huge, as it is estimated that Nigeria needs to invest more than $3trilllion in the next 30 years to bridge the gap; and average of $100billion annually for the next six years.
Okoh, who was represented by Director, Infrastructure and Public Private Partnership Department of the Bureau, Sanusi Sule, said the new phase targets reforms mostly in the utility and infrastructure sectors, which include water resources, railways, airports and highways.
He explained that refocusing on PPP was borne out of the increasing budgetary constraints to fund the development of new infrastructure and effectively maintain existing ones; deteriorating infrastructure (dilapidated roads, schools, hospitals etc); higher public expectations in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure service delivery.
According to him, the country’s infrastructure stock was too low for any meaningful development and that “the public sector cannot afford to provide the resources required to bridge the huge infrastructural gap.”He added that the most feasible option is to attract private sector investments and the Bureau is working tirelessly with key stakeholders to establish a robust framework and process for implementing and managing PPPs in Nigeria.
Leader of the delegation, Treichel, said the visit was part of the World Bank private sector diagnostic assessment of Nigeria’s public sector, as well as looking for opportunities to provide short term assistance to the Bureau in the next three years.