The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, has said that the next phase of the Reform and Privatisation Programme of the Federal Government would focus on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with the view to correcting the infrastructural deficit in the country.
Okoh made the remarks when he received a delegation from the World Bank led by the senior Economist (Economics and Private Sector Development), Mr. Volker Treichel which visited the Bureau in Abuja recently.
A release signed by Amina Tukur Othman, Head, Public Communications of the BPE quoted the DG as noting that the country’s infrastructure gap was huge and that Nigeria needed to invest more than USD Three Trillion in the next 30 years to bridge the gap; and average of $100 billion per annum for the next 6 years.
The Director General who was, represented by Director, Infrastructure and Public Private Partnership Department of the Bureau, Mallam Sanusi Sule, said the new phase targets reforms mostly in the utility and infrastructure sectors which include; water resources, railways airports and highways.
He stated that the refocusing on PPP was borne out of the increasing budgetary constraints to fund the development of new infrastructure and effectively maintain existing ones; deteriorating infrastructure (dilapidated roads, schools, hospitals etc); higher public expectations in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure service delivery.
According to him, the country’s infrastructure stock was too low for any meaningful development and that “the public sector cannot afford to provide the resources required to bridge the huge infrastructural gap”.
He added that the most feasible option is to attract private sector investments and the Bureau is working assiduously with key stakeholders to come up with a robust framework and process for implementing and managing PPPs in the country.
Leader of the delegation, Mr. Volker Treichel said the visit was part of the World Bank private sector diagnostic assessment of the Public sector in Nigeria.
He added that the Bank was also looking for opportunities to provide short term assistance to the Bureau in the next three years.