A bill seeking to regulate Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria has scaled second reading at the Senate.
This was sequel to the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi) during plenary on Wednesday.
Aliero said that the bill sought to repeal the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act 2005 and enact the Public-Private Partnership Regulatory Commission Bill 2021.
The lawmaker, who noted that the bill was read for the first time on Wednesday, Oct. 6, said that it dealt with the overall regulation of PPP, which traversed the entire spectrum of leasing and management of contracts or maintenance development projects of the Federal Government.
Aliero said that PPP involved collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company, which could be used to finance, build and operate projects, such as public transportation networks and parks.
“Public-private partnerships often involve tax concessions, protection from liabilities or partial ownership rights over nominally public services and property to the private sector or for-profit entities,” he said.
He further said that one of the major challenges affecting the growth of the Nigerian economy was the huge deficit in the areas of social and economic infrastructure — roads, railways and seaports.
“To bridge this gap, massive investments must be made in the expansion of the country’s infrastructure services, well beyond the resources and capacity of the government, which has been solely responsible for the provision of such infrastructure,” he said.
Aliero said that the bill would be very key and central to leverage private sector investment and capacity to bridge the country’s enormous infrastructure gap through an effective framework for public-private partnership in Nigeria.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said that with very limited resources in the country, the private sector should be encouraged to participate in the development of infrastructure.
“We have to provide a safe environment for the public and the private sectors to be
convinced that their investments will provide the kind of returns that they aspire to get and that there is a legal framework to protect their investments,” he said.
Lawan, thereafter, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Works for further legislative action, saying that the committee should report back to the House in four weeks’ time.