By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appealed to the Federal Government to grant the state a special consideration in the implementation of the National Development Plan, NDP, project to enable it to enhance capacity as a driver of the nation’s economic growth.
The governor, who spoke at the third Nigeria Public-Private Partnership, Network, NPPN, hosted by the Lagos State Public-Private Partnerships, PPP Office in Ikeja, Lagos, described the theme, ‘The Role of PPP in the 2021-2025 National Development Plan,’ as very apt, considering the economic challenges being faced by Nigeria currently.
Recall that the new National Development Plan [2021 — 2025] was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, to succeed the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan [ERGP].
Sanwo-Olu, who cited Moody’s (Rating Agency) projection pointed out that Nigeria’s infrastructure gap estimated at about $3 Trillion, which is about six times the size of the nation’s annual national GDP, stressed the NDP(2021 — 2025) remained a major imperative to unlocking quantum private sector collaboration and partnership to attain socio-economic advancement in a quicker and more inclusive fashion.
According to Sanwo-Olu: “The National Development Plan projects an ambitious investment size of N348.7 trn over a five-year period, out of which the Private Sector is expected to contribute 85.7 per cent while the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Governments shall contribute 14.3 per cent cumulatively.
‘’For us in the Lagos State Government, we are indeed delighted to host this conference. Lagos has increasingly become the PPP Eco – chamber of Nigeria, being home to over 2000 financial institutions, Nigeria’s largest Ports, hosting 65 per cent of Nigeria’s commercial activities and being West Africa’s Maritime and Aviation hub.’’
He said his administration has embarked on groundbreaking PPP projects including 38 Kilometre long Fourth Mainland Bridge which is now at the final Request For Proposal, RFP, stage and expected to be the longest bridge in Africa, a world Class 5,000 Trailer Park to manage the existential challenges of being Nigeria’s Haulage Hub, Major investments in the development of new maritime channels for commercial operation of modern water transportation, housing, investments in traffic intelligence and physical road signals, Institutional investments in Radiology and Laboratory/testing equipment across our health institutions — all using the PPP Framework as an effective tool.
‘’I wish to emphasize that we have witnessed significant and extensive mileage in PPP investment to address several developmental challenges confronting Lagos State, but we still have a long way to go. The Lagos State PPP Office is designed to facilitate, incentivize and create best-fitted structures for the injection of Private Capital into Lagos State.
‘’It is our hope that the Offices of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Mr Atedo Peterside, being (Chairman and Co-Chair) for implementing the National Development Plan [2021 — 2025] shall consider the special status of Lagos as the largest market in Sub Saharan Africa; in their implementation structures.’’
He urged the private sector to forge a much deeper and mutual collaboration with the government in ensuring the attainment of inclusive development and greater wealth generation in the country.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on PPP, Mr Ope George, said the PPP initiatives in all cases are aimed at increasing private investment into the PPP infrastructure market and the core infrastructure sectors.
He said; ‘’Most of our projects encompass capacity—building for Ministries, departments and agencies, and technical support for project preparation and advisory services to develop commercially viable PPP transactions.
‘’Furthermore, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is Nigeria’s main PPP unit with a key objective to foster investment in the country’s national infrastructure through private sector funding. The ICRC assists the Federal Government and its Ministries and development agencies in implementing and establishing effective PPP processes.’’