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The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) has launched a suite of capacity-building workshops which aim to strengthen the capacity of Nigerian government officials in public-private partnerships, particularly as they relate to infrastructure development
Organised on the basis of a cost-sharing grant provided by the ALSF to the government of Nigeria, the first training event was designed to demystify the process of identifying and structuring public-private partnership infrastructure projects, and was co-hosted with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Finance.
More than 51 government representatives participated in the workshop. The participants benefitted from training provided by legal experts from Norton Rose Fulbright, an international law firm, and Olaniwun Ajayi, a Nigerian law firm, appointed by the ALSF to support the government’s efforts to build capacity in the public-private partnership infrastructure sector.
The two participating law firms were supported by Canadian Pacific Consulting Services, which provided the financial advisors in developing public-private partnership infrastructure projects.
In view of the presence of Nigerian officials from 12 different government ministries, additional efforts were made to develop sector-specific presentations which elaborated on the challenges and opportunities associated with PPP projects in the extractives, agricultural and rural development, transportation and power sectors.
“The skill and knowledge gained here will contribute in achieving the future plans of the Ministry of Water Resources and will help facilitate our organisational goals, by setting up sensitisation programmes on how best to attract private-sector financing for water infrastructure projects,” said Esther Oyeniyi Ajibewa, PPP desk officer at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
ALSF Legal Counsel Nchimunya Ndulo added, “PPP structured projects are important to curbing the financing gap at the root of Africa’s infrastructure deficit. Stakeholder engagement and developing common negotiation positions are also key elements in making such projects succeed for governments.”
For African economies to maintain their steady growth, it is estimated that US$130bn-US$170bn will need to be invested per year over the next decade to bride the infrastructure gap.