We’ll reposition Nigeria as PPP knowledge base in Africa – ICRC

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said it is working to reposition Nigeria as the Public Private Partnership (PPP) knowledge base in Africa.

According to a statement by Acting Head, Media &Publicity, ICRC Manji Yarling the

Acting Director General of the Commission, Michael Ohiani, said this during the first meeting of the Nigerian Public Private Partnership Network.

The NPPPN is a network that brings together all heads of PPP at state level under the coordination of the ICRC and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

It also provided a platform to share experiences and explore opportunities for scaling up PPP in healthcare across other states using NPPPN.

Ohiani said the ICRC had also been supporting Nigerian states to adopt PPP models to boost their infrastructure development.

He commended states that were already adopting PPP models, pledging the Commission’s support to all other states to develop and operationalise bankable PPP projects.

“Since its establishment, ICRC has blazed the trail in establishing and institutionalizing the use of PPPs in Nigeria for our economic development.

“The commission has even gone beyond the Federal level to now partner with the states that require guidance and capacity on how to go about the PPP processes.

“ICRC facilitated a World Bank sponsored APMG’s certified PPP practitioners course for 60 Nigerian government staff at Federal and State levels in addition to building PPP capacity. (APM Group International is a reputable global accreditation and examination institute).

“This year we will encourage global certification through the NII3P like the APMG Certified PPP Practitioner for our members until it becomes a routine process for use in Nigeria.

“With our population and the available market, we are setting our sight on being the PPP knowledge base in Africa,” he said.

Giving a rundown of the commission’s achievement since its inception, Ohiani said that as at April 25, 2022, the commission had issued a total of 105 Outline Business Case Certificates (OBCs), 48 Full Business Case Certificates (FBCs) as well as secured 51 PPP approvals by the Federal Executive Council.

Speaking earlier, the Director General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Asishana Okauru, represented by the Executive Director, Strategy, Dr. Abdulateef Shittu, said the meeting was part of moves to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

He said that the meeting underscored the fact that access to essential health services was an important aspect of development.

“The COVID-19 pandemic as not only shaped the was we live and interact, but it has also exposed the fragility of our healthcare systems.

“Now more than ever we must be innovative in addressing the myriad of healthcare development challenges that we face as a nation.

“While the public sector is responsible to provide key public services, the private sector is critical to harness expertise and realise the value of state owned resources,” he said.

He said the meeting provided an avenue for peer learning and experience sharing, with Commissioners for health from states sharing knowledge and experiences on preparing and executing bankable healthcare PPP projects.

High point of the NPPN meeting was the presentation by representatives of Kaduna and Yobe states of PPP projects being implemented in the health sector of their respective states.

For Kaduna state, its Commissioner for Health Dr Amina Mohammed Baloni informed that forum that the state was already implementing two PPP projects in the health sector: Zipline and PMG MAN.

She explained that Zipline was a logistics network of autonomous delivery drones to improve access and availability of routine emergency medicine to health facilities. The project comprises 30 drones that can serve over 1,000 health facilities.

For PMG MAN, the commissioner said that the PPP project was conceived by the government to ensure supply of quality, affordable and essential drugs medicines to citizens through PMG-MAN local Pharmaceutical companies.

She said that since the implementation of the project, the fill rate of orders by health facilities had grown to 76.85% from 38.41%, while shelf availability of essential medicines in pharmacies had also increased.

The commissioner hinted that the state government was already looking to concession a 300 bed hospital, while also seeking opportunities in certain services including: dialysis, radio imaging, laboratory and supply chain, among others.

For Yobe state, it established the Yobe State Drug and Medical Consumables Management Agency (YODAMA) in 2019 and had gone into PPP partnership with several privare sectors to improve the efficiency of the Agency.

The Yobe state representative informed the network that the state was in partnership with ARC_ESM through Bill and Melida Gates Foundation to improve supply chain.

He added that YODAMA was also partnering with PMG-MAN for supply of high quality and affordable medicines and health commodities while also partnering the KAIZEN Institute for capacity development and training of YODAMA staff.

For most of the participants, there was need for other states to adopt bankable PPP models to boost the health sector and advance infrastructure development in their respective states.