By EMEKA MAMAH
LAGOS—Nigerian Institute of Chartered Economists, NICEN, has asked the Federal Government to suspend all concession exercises, which it entered into with some companies until it formulates a sustainable policy on the issue.
NICEN said the Public- Private- Partnership, PPP, as a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV, was developed to tackle infrastructure deficit in the country even before the advent of Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission Act, 2006, pointing out that the application of this special purpose arranged strategy of financing infrastructure in the country hardly worked without challenges.
Coordinator of NICEN in the South-South, Mr. Friday Udoh, who spoke with Vanguard, yesterday, said the entire exercise started without adequate policy guidelines, ‘’hence the multiple problems after many completed transactions.’’
He cited many instances, including deals involving Solgas, formally Global Infrastructure under Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE and Ajaokuta Steel Company in 2003, with some ports, which were between the Federal Government and some private companies under the PPP, which had resulted in government spending about N3.6 billion per annum as personnel costs, excluding other costs in moribund firms.
According to Udoh, the deal on Ajaokuta took place despite of a valid concessionaire contract with Global Infrastructure, adding that similar shoddy cases were obtained in the aviation, and other sectors of the economy, where the government inherited ‘’horrible concession agreements, which no development-oriented administration should sustain.’