By Godwin Oritse, with agency report

IN a bid to  improve transparency and accountability in contracts entered into by public and private enterprises in the country, the Federal Government says it is initiating a contract disclosure portal.

Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwah, who disclosed this at a Public Private Partnership (PPP) training workshop organised by the World Bank in Lagos, said the ICRC and the World Bank had been working together to ensure more openness and transparency in PPPs in Nigeria.

He said that there were currently 51 ongoing PPP projects entered into by the Federal Government, cutting across all sectors and 77 pipeline projects which the public may not be aware of, adding that the website would be launched at the end of August, 2017 and that all federal government’s MDAs were expected to disclose fully all their PPP contracts.

Izuwah said, “This disclosure initiative is designed to ensure that all non-confidential information relating to PPP contracts, both pre and post contract information, is made available and easily accessible to members of the public. The disclosure is expected to bring improvement and engender confidence in PPP contract transactions in Nigeria. It is also hoped that Nigerians, through the disclosure, will be better educated and informed on the salient features of PPP contracts. This  includes agreed standards of service, scope of work, parties to the contract,  general overview of the project, social and economic benefits of the  project,  as well as risk allocation and the actual performance levels achieved.”

Izuwah explained that the portal was not just for local use, but would also serve to encourage foreign direct investments into the country.

He  further stated that the new process would ensure that contractors keep their own side of the bargain.

“For example, at the airport, what quality of service should you expect, what are your entitlements, what are you paying for? All these information will be made available so that Nigerians will be equipped to be able to insist and get the services they are entitled to” he said.

Similarly, Senior Consultant on PPPs, World Bank Group,   Mr Prashant Sharma, said the bank was assisting Nigeria, Kenya, Honduras and Ghana to develop a PPP Contract Information Disclosure website.

He said this would improve transparency in the procurement process and when the website goes live in August, Nigeria would be the leading country in the world in transparency and accountability in PPP contracts.

“We have been working with the ICRC over the last one year to develop an organized platform to actually deliver information and disclose information about public private partnership,” he said.

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