The House of Representatives has begun move towards scrutinizing the efficiency of Public-Private Partnership, PPP, initiatives and concession agreements across the country.
The decision followed a motion moved by Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi at a plenary where it expressed concern over the dwindling revenues that should accrue to the federation account.
The House highlighted the substantial deficit in infrastructure development, noting that the deficit has far-reaching consequences on the execution of the budget and the overall economic stability of the nation due to Nigeria’s heavy reliance on oil.
While acknowledging the critical role of the private sector in infrastructure development, the House recognised the extensive involvement in projects across various domains, including roads, railways, airports, housing, and power generation.
The House further noted that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, tasked with overseeing policies, discussions, and supervision of all public-private partnerships and concession programs is critical to the federal government completing all its projects.
It expressed concern that despite initiating several PPPs and concession programs, the outcomes have been mixed, with some projects stalled and others failing to yield anticipated results.
The House also raised concerns regarding the participation and interest from investors, which has not been fully actualized due to a lack of coordination between government agencies and the ICRC, leading to delays in the commencement of several projects.
It therefore mandated the committee on Public Assets, under the leadership of Hon. Ademorin Kuye, and the committee on Special Duties, under the leadership of Hon. Kabir Tukura Ibrahim, to conduct a thorough investigation and assessment of the PPP and concession agreements’ performance.
The committees are tasked with recommending strategies to enhance the nation’s infrastructure development. A timeframe has been set for the committee to report its findings, which will be crucial in determining the future legislative action required to rectify the issues within the PPP frameworks.
The House noted that the investigation is expected to bring about greater transparency and efficiency in the management of public-private partnerships in Nigeria, ensuring that the nation’s infrastructure meets the needs of its citizens and supports sustainable economic growth.