By Dayo Benson
THE need for public private partnerships to grow infrastructures in Nigeria has been emphasised at this year’s annual Punnuka Lecture, which held in Lagos. The theme of the lecture organised by Punnuka law firm was: “The Role of Public Private Partnership in Infrastructural Development,” with three guest speakers, Anthony Ross, QC, Frank Walwyn, both from Canada and Managing Director of Planet Project, Mr. Biodun Otunla.
The event had Mr. Bolaji Balogun as the chairman while Nestle Nig. Plc’s, Engr David Ifezuie as special guest of honour. Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, in his address delivered by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said more public private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure funding, including the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, was needed to make the state a preferred destination for investment.
He said the state was determined to explore the PPP model in areas such as road network expansion, transportation, housing and environment. The governor said the government was not abdicating its responsibilities but essentially releasing scarce resources for other important projects. “The reality of this fact is becoming clearer as a result of reduction in government revenue occasioned by dwindling oil prices and increasing need of the people,” he said.
Senior Partner, Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), in his own contribution admitted that government alone cannot be saddled with investing tax payers’ money in otherwise commercially viable infrastructure projects in the face of other social needs. “Consequently, private participation is needed for the enhancement of infrastructural development and indeed are required as, perhaps, a matter of social commitment, to step up their game to fill the infrastructural funding gap.
Other speakers at the event were Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun, Founder, E. Anthony Professional Corporation.
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