A Nigerian public policy think-tank, the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA), has said the absence of appropriate regulatory framework is capable of undermining Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructural development in the country.
In the study, the body noted that the intention of all tiers of government to address the infrastructure challenges in Nigeria through PPP might not achieve the expected results with the current situation in the country.
The private Guardian newspaper Tuesday quoted a research fellow at IPPA and a co-author of the think tank’s recent study on the PPP framework in Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Sotola, as saying: “The PPP arrangement at present is skewed against private sector. It is evident to see public authorities wielding more power and becoming dominant partner.
”The snag in this ‘master-servant’ relationship in most PPP arrangements cannot outlive the administration that initiated them,” he said.
The study, tagged,”Public-Private Partnership: Will It Fix Infrastructure?”, noted that the prevailing regulatory framework and the nature of emerging trends in PPP projects had diminished the expectations that it might be the ultimate solution to the infrastructure challenges.
“Many tiers of governments across the federation do not have PPP enabling law. This tends to suggest that a foundational basis for private provision of infrastructure is missing and such pronouncements are without legal basis.
“The implication is that states are engaging in projects that could be nullified if challenged in court of law. The absence of this law is a red flag to private sector and consequently raises fear of what could become of their investments,” the study explained.
It also observed that budgetary allocations alone could not be enough to fix infrastructure, and expressed doubts that the need for additional resources from THE private sector might be a mirage.
“While PPP can address infrastructure challenges, this is achievable when parties involved have equally shared responsibilities. However, there is a lacuna in the regulatory framework governing PPP at present.
“This threatens projects executed under the model. Aside from this, given the sophistication of issues involved, governments have limited expertise to effectively regulate. Relying on firms under PPP for expertise may lead to regulatory capture,” the study said