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PPP has made significant contribution to economic growth and human capital in Lagos

By Guardian Nigeria
28 December 2022   |   2:19 am
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Mr. Ope George, has said that PPPs structure is a good vehicle that can be explored to stimulate national economic growth and human capital development. He said the state government is leveraging PPPs strategically to deliver critical infrastructure assets that increase access…

Ope George

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Mr. Ope George, has said that PPPs structure is a good vehicle that can be explored to stimulate national economic growth and human capital development.

He said the state government is leveraging PPPs strategically to deliver critical infrastructure assets that increase access to better and improved services for the over 21 million residents, and to further boost socio-economic growth and development of the state.

‘‘For us in Lagos State, considering our huge population of over 21 million we know the importance of catering for our people in terms of infrastructure needs, provide better roads, better hospitals, better schools, ferry services. So, our PPP projects cut across all the various infrastructural services and that is what we are trying to provide for the residents in the state,’’ he said.

George, speaking at a media interaction session, added that the engagement of local professionals such as engineers, architects, project managers and consultants, artisans like welders, aluminum fitters, plumbers and labourers at various PPPs project sites in various sectors and located in several wards in the five divisions has helped significantly in boosting human capital development.

He added that thousands of direct and indirect jobs were being created on an ongoing basis through the various infrastructure projects in the state, noting that opportunities and other value-added services propelled by PPPs also accounted for the high rate of migration into the state, a development that continues to exert pressure on existing social amenities and infrastructure in the state.

‘‘These projects create tens of direct and indirect jobs. If you consider the number of people that come into Lagos every day, those that live in Lagos and those from neighbouring states and towns who come to work at these project sites, you will find out that these projects have tremendous positive impact on the economy of individuals and Lagos State. Also, these projects help us develop our local capacity and human capital because the projects provide opportunity for our local engineers, professionals and artisans to put their skills and expertise to use. A lot of capital flights are being saved for the country as well,’’ he stressed.

The PPPs boss listed the ongoing construction of about 8,000 bed spaces at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo as one of the PPPs projects in the education sector aimed to solve the accommodation problems faced by students of the institution, while the proposed construction of a medical park at the old site of the former School of Nursing on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, is another example.

The medical facility, to be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and staffed with specialists in various fields of medicine, is aimed to reduce medical tourism in Nigeria.

George added that the 5000-capacity Truck Park in Orile Iganmu is another PPP project, stating that though its construction is ongoing, operations have commenced and already yielding results in the gradual decongestion of Apapa traffic caused by trucks.

The adviser also revealed that the ongoing construction of the entire physical infrastructure for the smooth take-off of the red and blue rail services such as station terminals, ticketing points, bridges, access roads and other infrastructure was also by PPPs arrangements.

He dismissed critics of PPPs structure for their ignorance, explaining that public-private collaboration has greater benefits by helping government to provide and maintain basic amenities as well as meet other statutory obligations like payment of workers’ salaries and allowances while private capital helps in delivering capital projects that have long-term impact.

George restated that there were enormous opportunities for interested private capital investors to partner with Lagos State on PPPs projects, even as he assured them that the state was safe for investment.

He said the state government has put in place the appropriate policy and legal framework that protects investors with the enactment of the Public-Private Partnerships Act.

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