Lagos needs $4.2b to meet infrastructural challenges 6/11/2007
By Toba Agboola
Lagos State recorded a major milestone in its efforts at transforming to a mega-city yesterday, with the flag-off of a two-day International Workshop on Public Private Partnership Initiative (PPPI) at the Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island.
Virtually all the nation’s banks and some strategic global financial institutions, such as JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Standard Bank, KPMG and Price Water Coopers, among others, were represented at the forum where it was projected that the nation’s commercial nerve centre would need over $4.2 billion to meet its infrastructural challenges.
The former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, commissioners and members of the House of Assembly were among top dignitaries at the forum, which was opened by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).
The theme of the workshop is, “Implementing Public Private Partnerships in Lagos State: Challenges and Prospects.”
Fashola said the opportunities for viable investment in Lagos State are practically limitless.
He specifically urged investors to invest in infrastructure.
“It is only through creative Public-Private Partnership that these targets can be met. But please don’t get me wrong. We are not asking for foreign aid, a much abused concept. We are not extending a begging bowl for charity or compassionate financial handouts.
“All we are seeking is for serious – minded investors who will utilize our infrastructure challenges as opportunities to do profitable business in Lagos State and Nigeria,” Fashola said.
Giving a breakdown of the massive investment required, he said it was projected that the state would spend at least $2 billion on the expansion and modernization of its water supply network. He said the state must spend not less than $715 million over a five-year period to provide a qualitative and efficient road network.
“A crucial challenge we must undertake over the next one and a half decades is the upgrading of existing slums to uplift the quality of life of millions of men, women and children. This venture will gulp no less than $186 million in the next 15 years, Fashola said.”
He said to achieve the objective of an efficient and effective waste management the system would require about $100 million every year for the next five years.
According to the Governor, an investment of $100 million in the infrastructure of Bus Rapid System (Transportation) will yield annual fat least $ 50 million yearly.
“Similarly, while about $787 million will be required as investment in our rail transportation infrastructure, the projected annual revenue is estimated at $ 400 million. In of water transportation, the four routes we have earmarked for commencement of operations have a capacity to transport 37 million people annually with projected yearly revenue of $ 37 million,” Fashola said.
Fashola said the workshop had been conceived as a major launch pad towards making Lagos State a model for Africa in terms of Public –Private Partnership for infrastructure development and the provision of quality social services.
“This international workshop on Public Private Partnership initiative will afford us the opportunity of learning in greater detail the enormous investment potential in the various areas.
He said his administration was eager to consolidate on the gains of the past and open new vistas of investment opportunities to the private sector. A Public-Private Partnership office is to be opened in the Lagos State Ministry of Finance to implement the conclusions of this workshop and other subsequent Public-Private Partnership in Lagos State.
Fashola: said “We are already exploring the various Public Private Partnership options Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangements, such as we have done with the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), on the on-going re-development of Lekki-Epe road. This project offers an exciting foretaste of the potential of PPP s for the revolutionary transformation of the infrastructural landscape of Lagos State. We intend to immediately open a PPP office under the Lagos State Ministry of Finance to implement the conclusions of this workshop and the other subsequent PPPs in Lagos State. This office will be a one-stop business centre for PPP in Lagos State devoid of frustrating bureaucratic delays and will facilitate co-ordination between project initiating ministries, Agencies of Government and private sector investors.
Commissioner for Finance Mr. Rotimi Oyekan said PPP initiatives were at a stage of infancy in Nigeria.
“It is our privilege to be the first state government in Nigeria to have adopted a policy thrust of implementing PPP in accordance with world class standards as a tool for the delivery of the administration’s promises to the people of the state,” he said.
Oyekan said the workshop was to objective create awareness of the benefits of PPPs in service delivery in Lagos, and to give a clearer understanding of the dynamics involved in the operation of PPP and the responsibilities of the various players.
Other speakers at workshop include Jonathan Wood of Standard Bank, South Africa, Aniekan Ukpanah (Udo-Udoma and Bello Osagie) and Howard Barrie of Denton Wilde Sapte, London.