OkabaIn furtherance of commitment to delivering optimally on its strategic mandate as the catalyst for driving social and physical infrastructure development through public and private sector collaboration, the Lagos State Office of the Public Private Partnership has held a three-day retreat for its staff with a view to deepening their knowledge of the core mandate of the PPP Office.

The retreat, which held from May 21 – 23, 2021 at Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, was attended by staff of the PPP Office across all cadres, and it was resourced by experts and policy makers drawn from diverse fields and expertise in public-private partnership, infrastructure development, legislature, legal, finance and integrated marketing communications among others.

Themed ‘Private Sector Collaboration: A service-driven culture for enhanced infrastructural delivery’, the knowledge-share retreat also sought to empower the staff by exposing them to issues, challenges and opportunities, and current realities in the implementation of public-private partnership projects.

Welcoming the participants, the Director-General of Public Private Partnership, Mr. Ope George, said the key objective of the retreat was to provide a platform for the participants to refresh their mind, broaden their knowledge generally, and upscale their skill set.

He added that it was also designed to prepare them adequately for greater impact in the discharge of the PPP’s strategic mandate, stressing that the PPP Office is pivotal and very crucial to the accomplishment of the goals of the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

‘‘We are key custodians of the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda of the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; our role is very strategic. So, in order to effectively deliver on this important role, we have put this retreat together to retool everyone of us for optimal performance in our respective role within the value chain,’’ George said.

Chairman, House Committee on PPP, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh, also in attendance, commended the Director-General for the quality of resource persons, as it underscores his vision to position PPP as a force to reckon with, in the efforts to build a greater Lagos through infrastructure renewal and upgrade. He went further to emphasize that it is imperative to review the Lagos State PPP Law (2011) to properly create a more robust and enabling legal and regulatory framework for viable and bankable projects.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Concessions: Regulating and monitoring compliance of terms and conditions of projects against market externalities’, Managing Partner/CEO, G A Capital Ltd, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, emphasised that establishing a framework is germane to a successful PPP programme which can only be achieved where there is political will, consistency and continuity in project plan, integration and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, clear assigned roles and responsibility, and high breed of opportunities for investors.

He added that the procurement process for any PPP programme must also be smooth and straightened by ensuring that stakeholders are well informed of the breadth and depth of projects, and clear about indemnities and guarantees through refining the legal and regulatory frameworks to align with best practices.

Mr. Gbeleyi, who is also a former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance and former Special Adviser to the Governor on PPP, further noted that a well-motivated workforce is imperative to deliver good results on PPP projects.

‘‘Building the capacity of the workforce is pertinent to achieving a progressive PPP and creating avenues of career opportunity and development while ensuring efficiency. Also, the morale of personnel must be boosted to get results,’’ he stated.

Another highpoint of the retreat was a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Vision Building for a Greater Lagos’, featuring the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Bisola Olusanya; State Commissioner for Economic, Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Governmental Affairs, Hon. Oloye Akin Alabi; and Group Chief Executive Officer, The Temple Management Company, Mr. Idris Olorunnimbe, while the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Administration, Mrs. Titilayo Oshodi, moderated.

Olusanya acknowledged the importance of PPP in the attainment of the goal of food sufficiency in the state, disclosing that the state government had drawn up a PPP-driven strategic five-year agricultural road map. ‘‘Lagos will not be able to produce all the food that is required, we need to collaborate with other states and the private sector to realise this initiative,’’ she said.

On his part, Egube suggested that for PPP to key into the vision of the state to become Africa’s model megacity, global economic and financial hub, there is need to organise all the processes and procedures of government businesses and disengage businesses that are not strategic and productive.

He further urged that, ‘‘PPP needs to create partnership across all board because the quality of T.H.E.M.E Lagos should be a leading light and the entire workforce must build their proficiency through training and re-training.’’

While sharing the success story about his lottery and gaming business, Hon. Alabi, who is also the CEO, Nairabet, commended Lagos State for being the only state that has made a giant stride in the regulatory framework for partnership in the lottery business.
He emphasised, however, the need to deeply interrogate government processes and expand its regulations, ensure consistency in government policies and build trust in the private sector so that more investors can come in.

Olorunnimbe, on his part, said there was a need to reinforce building ‘Greater Lagos’ dream by everyone telling positive stories about Lagos to encourage and promote excellence in the entertainment industry.

He stated: ‘‘There is a need to go back to the basics, social re-engineering, showcase the resilience in the people of Lagos, about greater Lagos and harness the potentials in the youth. I believe we can achieve a lot through entertainment, and music is one of the veritable platforms to communicate the stories about Lagos to the people and the world as a whole.’’

A marketing communications expert and Chief Executive Officer, DKK Nigeria, Mrs. Tope Jemerigbe, in her presentation titled, ‘Communication: Engaging the private sector for participation in infrastructural development’, stressed that communication plays a crucial role in infrastructure development because it is an important tool to bridge the gap and to influence relevant stakeholders to achieve the expected outcome from them.

She urged the participants to constantly identify and engage the stakeholders to achieve results by ensuring that communication is well targeted and adapted to specific groups.

Deputy Director, Administration and Human Resource, Public Service Office of the Office of the Head of Service, Mr. Kayode Ogbe, who spoke on ‘Public Service Rules: A benchmark for quality service delivery’, emphasised that adherence to set rules, processes and procedures, as well as employees conduct is pivotal to delivering good outcomes in PPP programmes.

‘‘Without rules, clear processes and procedures, employees conduct within an organization would be chaotic,’’ he stated.

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