Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday said that there was the need to explore alternative financing strategies such as Public Private Partnership (PPP) to fast track economic growth and development in the country.
Ambode who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule said this at the 2017 PUNUKA Annual Lecture organised by PUNUKA Attorneys and Solicitors in Lagos.
The lecture had the theme ‘The Role of Public Private Partnership in Infrastructural Development’.
He said that PPP had gained wide acceptance as a sustainable strategy for financing and delivery of public infrastructure globally.
According to him, in adopting such strategy, government is not abdicating its responsibilities but essentially releasing scarce resources for other equally important projects, thus creating s win-win situation for the government and the private enterprise.
”It is rooted in the fact that government revenue cannot be relied upon as source of funding for developmental projects.
”The reality of this fact is becoming clearer as a result of reduction in government revenue occasioned by dwindling oil prices and increasing needs of the people.
”Public Private Partnership has been identified and adopted as a viable strategy that can ensure the desired growth in physical and social infrastructure, as well as make significant impact on the nation’s economy, ” he said.
Ambode said his administration would continue to explore the PPP model, especially in areas such as road network expansion, transportation, housing and environment, for the benefit of the masses.
In his address, Mr Bolaji Balogun, Chairman of the event, said that PPP was the only sustainable way of financing significant infrastructure in any economy.
He urged government to create an enabling environment, particularly in the areas of road networks and power supply, to attract investors and private partners.
Mr Anthony Ross, the guest lecturer, identified political tribalism, increasing population and lack of continuity in governance as problems confronting infrastructure development in the country.
Ross said that private sector involvement would ensure that issue of wastes, delayed delivery and abandonment that was usually associated with public projects would be minimised.
In his remarks, Chief Anthony Idigbe, Senior Partner, PUNUKA Attorneys and Solicitors, noted that there had been a decline in infrastructure development due to increasing population, reducing taxes, social pressure, poor maintenance culture, corruption in government’s procurement processes and others.
Idigbe said the lack of basic infrastructure such as housing, transportation, roads, electricity, hospitals, schools, water supply and other needs was not only affecting the citizens, but also the nation’s economic development and prosperity.
He said that the topic was borne out of the dire socio-economic need for infrastructure development in Nigeria.
”We find ourselves in a sensitive time in history, when government alone cannot finance viable infrastructural projects; private participation is required.
”This lecture is a part of our annual contribution to the legal, social and economic issues in the country, to stimulate actions that will drive development, ” he said.