The Government of South Africa has sought the collaboration of the Nigerian government on mutually beneficial infrastructure development through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Tharmi Mseleku disclosed this when he led a team of officials on a courtesy visit to the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Michael Ohiani.
He said that although both Nigeria and South Africa were learning from each other in implementing PPPs, there was a need for both nations to rekindle their collaboration and take it to a greater height.
“We are here to get the information about the kind of infrastructure that is envisaged to be developed through PPPs because we have the capacity to support, both from the financing and technical point of view,” he said.
He said that the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) was part of the financiers of the Kano-Maradi rail project, adding that the bank was willing to do more in the area of financing.
“The DBSA is not the only one looking to finance infrastructure from that perspective, they have the capability to also support the post-contract processes.
“We came to have a conversation so that we can open the doors to rekindle the relationship. South Africa is open for business,” he said.
The Director General of ICRC who received the delegation noted that the relationship between both countries on PPPs dates back to the inception of ICRC when members of staff went on a study tour of the South African PPP institutions.
He hinted that from then on, the Commission had recorded great milestones with many PPP projects already underway.
“Over the years, we now have 82 ongoing PPP projects that we are regulating. From 2010 to date the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 102 PPP projects that are worth N10.8 trillion to be invested in by the private sector.
“We have been able to achieve a lot in terms of using PPP to deliver on the infrastructure needs of the country,” he said.
He told the envoy that the Commission had also established a PPP Training Institute called the Nigerian Institute for Infrastructure and PPP (NII3P) where trainings are offered on PPPs, with an MBA in PPP programme also available in Partnership with the Malaysian University for Science and Technology.
Ohiani notified the High Commissioner that some South African companies were already engaged in PPPs in Nigeria while some others were indicating interest.
“We look forward to having further collaborations especially as it relates to the Africa PPP Network (AP3N) which is scheduled to hold in South Africa later in the year,” he said.