Why infrastructure deficit persists —Shonekan

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From SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
FORMER Head of Interim
National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan, has said the nation’s infrastructural deficit will continue to persist owing to the inability to secure long term funding for infrastructural projects.
Chief Shonekan made this disclosure yesterday when he led the Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), which he chairs, to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the commission to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja.
Shonekan also enumerated the challenges confronting the commission in the realisation of its goals to include inability to commit Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to a stable and coherent pipeline of Private Public Partnership (PPP) and poor project preparation by MDAs.
Other challenges identified by Shonekan were inability to enforce vital aspects of the ICRC Act in its current form, absence of coherent infrastructure investment programme, non-integration of PPP projects into the national planning framework and paucity of funds for the commission’s operations.
Accordingly, he suggested that “addressing these challenges is critical to the success of ICRC and the attainment of the infrastructure component of your transformation agenda.”
The chairman of the ICRC had earlier indicated that the commission had recorded some achievements since its inauguration in 2008.
Within its first two years, “the commission recruited key staff, developed organisational processes and engaged MDAs and other stakeholders.”
It also developed a National Policy Framework for PPP, held regional engagement workshops across the country “to secure the buy-in of stakeholders” on the policy and issued operational guidelines for PPP to MDAs.
Presenting the commission’s 2011 report, Chief Shonekan said it received a little less than 1.1 billion Naira appropriated for it and expended 1.016 billion Naira.
“The sum of 325,811,000 Naira was brought forward from 2010 financial year and the balance in the capital vote of 8.5 million Naira was moved forward to 2012,” Shonekan explained. He said out of this 325,763,039.45 Naira was spent as the remaining 47,960.55 Naira “was returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”

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