In line with the federal government’s drive to ensure transparency in the public-private partnership (PPP) model it is deploying to finance critical infrastructure projects, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) at the weekend launched the first of its kind contract disclosure portal.
The acting Director-General of the ICRC, Chidi Izuwah, in a presentation at the event that took place in Abuja, revealed that the World Bank and ICRC developed the dedicated web portal for the disclosure of all PPP contracts information by the government.
He said the portal would ensure timely disclosure of contract information from project initiation through to the implementation and hand-back phase of PPP projects to the government.
According to Izuwah, the disclosure exercise supports President Mohammadu Buhari’s effort of institutionalising transparency and accountability in the procurement of PPP projects in Nigeria.
He further pointed out that the onus for information generation and uploading on the web-based platform would be shared by ICRC, the contracting authority, and the private party to the contract.
“Information will be uploaded by the contracting authority and ICRC after redacting confidential information.
“The contracting authority will upload all information and documents in the web-based platform, so as to leave at least seven days within the given timelines for ICRC to validate and approve the information for public disclosure.
“The web portal will be dynamic in nature. More information is made available as the various projects progress. It will be a respiratory of information of current happenings and events regarding PPPs in Nigeria,” he explained.
Furthermore, the ICRC boss said the portal’s framework clearly shows the various elements for disclosure depending on the stage the project is in.
A PPP is a contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public.. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.
ICRC is the main repository of information of Federal PPP projects in the country.ICRC regularly publishes news and general information on its website, on PPP activities, workshops, events, and basic information on legacy, on-going, and under-consideration PPPs.
“However, the information provided is limited to the project title and type, government agency responsible, name of the private concessionaire (where selected), and duration of the concession for the projects.
“In recognition of this limitation the Commission Partnered with the World Bank to ensure adequate disclosure of PPP contract Information.
“The Commission in collaboration with the World Bank consulted with MDAs, Concessionaires, Financiers, Civil Society Organisations and relevant stakeholders towards the actualisation of this exercise,”Izuwah added.