By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A lecturer in law at the Roehampton Law School, University of Roehampton London, Dr Augustine Arimoro, has explained how Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) can succeed in Nigeria and other emerging economies as well as boosting the economies of such countries.
Dr. Arimoro who was a graduate of University of Jos Plateau State and was also a previous lecturer in Law at the Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham United Kingdom (UK), spoke with newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital when he premiered his book titled ‘Public-Private Partnerships in Emerging Economies’ to Nigerian audience.
He noted that PPP is over regulated in Nigeria, which is not investors-friendly and that is why it is having some shortcomings, adding that for sectors that determine the well-being of the citizenry, such as the delivery of infrastructure services, the government needs to be proactive and determined in terms of PPP policy.
“The book explored the legal, institutional, and regulatory frameworks for public-private partnerships (PPP) in emerging economies. Using the comparative legal research methodology, it examines how the model works in at least four other emerging economies namely, Brazil, India, Nigeria and South Africa.
“Throughout the book, the heart of the discussion is the need to make emerging economies investor-friendly to attract funding for PPP projects.The book discusses the PPP model and how it can be used as an alternative to traditional public procurement given the challenges with budget constraints around the world.
“Brazil, India, Nigeria and South Africa all intend to use the PPP model as a means for bridging their respective infrastructure gaps, but to achieve the goal of building public infrastructure through the financial support and the expertise of the private sector, the governments must do more than just produce policies. Sectors such as energy, transport, water supply and power are considered critical areas in emerging economies.
“Therefore, there is need to clearly define what they intend to achieve with the PPP model. It is not enough to create a framework for PPP and to make it a state policy. There must be clarity in terms of expectations and how the goals set can be achieved using the model. This is one area of shortcoming in most emerging and developing economies. It should not be business as usual.
“Countries should not just copy templates from developed economies without considering whether such templates can work in their immediate environments. Developing economies must learn from what their peers are doing right, learn and try to implement this in their jurisdictions.” he said.
According to Arimoro, some of the challenges in PPP with emerging economies include the issues of weak institutions, weak business environments, cost of acquiring finance, the scarcity of long-term domestic funding, the high exposure to foreign currency-exchange risks when funds are sourced internationally and lack of expertise.
He then recommends that steps must be taken to engage in the regular review of PPP laws and guidelines, and that those emerging economies must work to overcome the slow law reform process and ensure that law is always in tune with the reality of the times.