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ECOWAS Mulls PPP To Bridge Infrastructures Funding Gap

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Against the backdrop of the dwindling payment of community levies among Member states, the ECOWAS Parliament has advocated for Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative as a panacea for bridging infrastructure funding gap.

Speaking at the Opening Session of the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament Delocalised Joint Committee Meeting on Private Sector Customs, and Free Movement, in Accra, Ghana, the Speaker of the Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo revealed that, the community is examining the idea of PPP against the shortfall in the implementation of developmental projects in the sub region.

The speaker maintained that theme of the meeting, ‘Public, Private Partnership: an alternative source of funding for community programmes and projects’ is apt, as most member countries have started using the PPP initiative in meeting up the challenge pose by inadequate fund for critical infrastructures.

“The Delocalised meeting is an opportunity for members of parliament to gain idea, experience and knowledge from experts and stakeholders in the PPP to enable them formulate desired legislative approach to improve on the use of PPP model, Cisse said.”

“In the last few years, collection of revenues from Member countries has derailed and this situation affected the implementation of projects and programmes, which is why there is an urgent need for alternative means of funding projects.”

Also speaking, the Head of the Ghana Delegation of Members of ECOWAS Parliament, Hon Kwesi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, observed that the theme of the discussion is germane to the community, especially as national development budget continued to shrink in respective member countries adding that partnership with the private sector is mandatory.

“We are aware of the commitment of ECOWAS to the implementation of multi model transport infrastructure and policies to stop coercion among member states that will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services within the community. The principal activity in the road sector has been the continued implementation of ECOWAS regional road transport and transit facilitation programme.

Some member states, including Ghana have already taken steps by introducing national policies and passing laws to institutionalise PPP and leveraging on the financial capital of the private sector to provide critical infrastructures for its countries and people.

Experts say PPP is an opportunity for Africa, when compared with other arrangements for funding infrastructure projects. The initiative began in the United Kingdom in 1992, and was introduced in Nigeria in 2005.

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