The Acting Director-General Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwa, has disclosed that the World Bank is waiting for the success of the Katampe District Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) engineering infrastructure project as a model which it can spread round the world.
Mr. Izuwa made this revelation in his remark at the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee on the Report of the Audit of the Structure and Financing of the PPP Project for the Development of Engineering Infrastructure at Katampe District, Phase 2, of Abuja.
In his words, it is “because of the uniqueness of Katampe PPP project, especially the land value capture that the World Bank is still waiting for the success of the project as a model which it can spread to the world.”
Mr. Izuwa counselled that the PPP project is the only option for meeting the infrastructure deficit in the FCT given that only 11 of the 72 districts in the FCT has full infrastructure. He noted that it is only by this kind of creative and innovative policies being embarked upon by the FCT Minister that Abuja can become the tourism and investment hub of Africa.
The ICRC Acting DG noted that FCT hosts one of the most successful PPP projects in Nigeria, as demonstrated by the Garki Hospital PPP initiative which is one of its kind, as it involve the health sector. He said if FCT can make PPP work, it would be easy for the states of the Federation to copy.
In his keynote address at the event, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said “For us at the FCT Administration, this is a project we want to succeed simply because it will open the way for us to be able to replicate it in similar projects within the city.
He expressed dismay that a very laudable projects faced excruciating problems because of poor packaging and implementation. In doing this, the Minister noted, the Administration was taking into account the fact that the past system of developing the city based on budgetary allocation is no longer sustainable, simply because the funds are not there.
In his words, “already we are talking of Phase 5 of the city, whereas, except for Phase 1, there has been no significant development of infrastructure in Phases 2, 3 and, indeed, Phase 4.”
He used the occasion to thank all the partnering ministries and agencies from where the 17-member Committee was constituted for agreeing to participate in the implementation committee. They include the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Power, and Works and Housing, the Accountant-General’s Office as well as the ICRC.
He paid special tribute to Committee Chairman Engr. Babagana Zanna for accepting to come back to serve in spite of the very strenuous work he did earlier as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
The terms of reference of the Committee, the Minister stated include to renegotiate the structure, scope and financing of the project to ensure compliance with the PPP principles as well as to ensure accountability fairness and value for money. The Committee is also expected to repackage the Katampe project in order to bring back the contractors to site. He pledged to continue to open the line for finance so that the project will be done and to see people building their houses and moving in.
Bello however used the occasion to thank the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Dr Babatope Ajakaiye for having driving the process from the very beginning up to the present stage, and wished him well as he retires next week. He also announced him as an ex-officio member of the committee “in order to contribute his experiences and guidance to the project,” he stated.
In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Babagana Zanna thanked the FCT Minister for the confidence reposed in him and the members of the Committee and pledged to do their best to meet the expectations of the Administration and the residents.
Chief Press Secretary
To The FCT Minister