By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
The chairman, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, Dr Tunde Ayeni, has canvassed for increase private sector investors to tackle unemployment in Nigeria.
Ayeni, who made the call while presenting a paper on “Building A Viable Economy: The Private Sector Roles” at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja 2017 Lecture/Dinner Award Night in Abuja over the weekend, said “any conscious effort to reduce unemployment must put in place a predetermined effort to increase the participation of private sector investors in the economy.
“It is in this respect, that the government must scrupulously respect the sanctity of contracts, review old legislations and make them to be private sector friendly and compliant with contemporary global business practices and build institutions that will adhere strictly to regulations guiding the rules of engagement between the private sector operators and the government. This is the way to consolidate the gains recorded thus far and the road to a destination of future prosperity.”
He further noted that “To be on the list of modern, prosperous nations, we must continue to consciously build an economy that is driven by the private sector operators under the watch of committed and patriotic regulators and in an enabling environment that is conducive for growth and development.”
Speaking on Public Private Partnership, PPP and Privitization, Dr Ayeni said “In the spirit of privatization, the idea of imbedded technology for the Power sector and the outright purchase of the distribution network of the power sector by Nigerians during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration have also created new impetus to economic growth imperatives. The fact that the power sector is gradually falling into the hands of the private sector with the sale of the Discos and Gencos will become so explosive because it would mean that all the instruments of economic growth have been given to the private sector.
“All they would be asking for is for government to provide the right environment and legislation that will protect their investments and security of their operations. Coupled with the gradual penetration of the Public private participation (PPP), which must be fully driven by the core private sector machineries, there are strong indications that the premise is getting set to showcase a global practice where every serious economy takes a cue from the point of view of its private sector participants. It is good to note that the Nigerian government is gradually putting in place all the relevant development institutions which the private sector operators would leverage to take the economy to the next level, only if it equally provides the much needed social stability.
“The enactment of the PPP efforts would be the key to putting in place the desired road-map to the way-forward for other very strategic institutions like railways, power, roads and other public infrastructure like water, health and schools. The current PPP programme of government which is being directed to that end would soon become opportunities for open invitation to the organized private sector. For instance, the current effort to get the various railway lines off the ground is enjoying a strong PPP anticipation from the Chinese government and their Nigerian counterparts who would be leveraging private sector inputs in making the development more efficient. Several roads in the country, especially Lagos and Abuja, are already leveraging the PPP bug in achieving results. Since most of the activities are within the areas of need and necessity, it is clear that when they are freed to be completely administered through a PPP programme, a good number of the operators in the real sector of the economy will be handy to embrace the options. It is on record that a great deal of ways and means of moving the Nigerian economy ahead lies within the purview of the organized private sector , only if they would be allowed the all encompassing executive and legislative format that the contribution demands. Across the length and breadth of this country, there have been series of PPP and privatization issues that have been awaiting implementation. “