ICRC to assist states with infrastructure development through PPP

ICRC to assist states with infrastructure development through PPP

By Okeoghene Akubuike, Abuja.


The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has expressed willingness to assist the states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to take on viable infrastructure projects using Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).


Mr Michael Ohiani, Director-GeneraI of ICRC, gave the assurance in a statement signed by Ms Manji Yarling, the Acting Head, Media and Publicity, ICRC, in Abuja on Wednesday.


Ohiani, who spoke when he received a delegation from Media Trust Group, owners of Daily Trust Newspapers, said that some states were already taking on PPP projects through the assistance of the ICRC.


He informed the delegation, led by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mounir Gwarzo, of the laudable projects of the commission as well as its mandate.


The director-general said that the ICRC Act only empowered the commission to have regulatory functions over Federal Government projects.


He, however, said that the ICRC had set up a peer-review mechanism to assist states in ensuring that their PPP projects were in line with best practices.


Ohiani said that this was done through the establishment of the Nigerian Public Private Partnership Network (NPPPN), in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors Forum.


The ICRC boss, however, noted that some projects were on the exclusive legislative list, citing deep seaports, rails and airports, among others.


He said that if a state government wanted to go into such investments, it would have to follow ICRC’s guidelines and regulations.


“Also going by the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Act of the Debt Management Office, if a state government wants guarantee or a foreign loan to support such project, they will have to recourse to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).


“FEC will give a ‘No Objection’ (clearance) before such loans or guarantee can be given.”


Ohiani said that between 2010 and 2021, through the ICRC’s regulatory oversight, the Federal Government had approved PPP projects worth about nine billion dollars.


He said that the commission had midwifed many laudable projects, which would go a long way to bridge the infrastructure gaps in Nigeria.


The director-general listed the projects to include the Lekki Deep Sea Port, which was currently at 98.07-per-cent completion, and the Nigerian Air project, which would fly before the end of the current administration.


“The projects also include the upgrade of four major international airports in Nigeria, among others,” he said.


Gwarzo said that the ICRC’s role in infrastructure development was a major achievement of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which deserved commendation.


He said that there was the need for the commission to partner with Media Trust Group to ensure that its laudable contributions to infrastructure development reached more Nigerians.


Gwarzo, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that the visit was also to congratulate Ohiani on his well-deserved appointment.


“Your appointment justifies the excellent work you have done in your career. You are, indeed, a round peg in a round hole.


“We are ready to partner with you and support you so that you will be able to achieve your goals,” he said.


Gwarzo informed the director-general that Media Trust was being restructured into a new holding company with various subsidiaries including the Daily Trust Newspapers, Trust TV and Trust Radio as well as digital platforms.

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