BPE calls for increased private sector participation in maritime
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Alex Okoh, has reiterated the need for increased private sector involvement in financing critical infrastructural development in the sector.
He said this during a webinar on ‘public-private partnership as alternative financing model in the maritime sector’ hosted by the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by SIFAX Group.
Citing the success of the port concession as a justification for more private sector participation, he revealed that the Federal Government’s revenue from the sector had doubled 10 years post-concession. He posited that competing demand on government’s lean resources has also made PPP a welcome option.
The BPE boss further revealed that the Federal Government has simplified the PPP process to allow private sector players to scout for projects that can be financed through PPP model. He urged the private sector to carefully identify the gap in transport infrastructures in the nation’s maritime sector and work towards providing solutions to these gaps.
Okoh noted that such investments in and around Nigeria’s ports would help reduce the high-shipping and terminal charges and local transport to warehouse costs, which will in turn make the country’s port more competitive and business-friendly in comparison to other African countries.
Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, SIFAX Group, the sponsors of the webinar, Mr. Bode Ojeniyi, said that the subject matter was timely and germane given the huge infrastructural deficit in the sector that could be addressed with PPP.
He, however, urged government to intensify efforts at making the country more business-friendly by removing the crippling bureaucratic bottlenecks that are currently making investments in any sector very unattractive.