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Edo, UK seal deal to promote transparency in public-private project execution, others

18 Feb 2023

L-R: Managing Director, United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF), Professor Chidiebere Ontia; Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Osasere Evbuomwan; Head Public-Private Partnership, Ikponmwosa Osayande, and Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Afishetu Braimoh, after sealing a deal with UKNIAF, at the Government House in Benin City.

The Edo State Government has entered a new partnership with the United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF), a development partner to build a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework that fosters transparency in PPP project transactions in the state.

The partnership was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. on behalf of the state government and the Managing Director, UKNIAF, Professor Chidiebere Ontia, with members of the judiciary as witnesses.

Addressing journalists after the signing the deal at the Government House, Benin City, the Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and Secretary, Ease of Doing Business Council, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said the partnership will, among other things, provide the needed support to upskill the staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Edo PPP Office, among others.

He said, “The technical support that will be provided to the PPP office will strengthen the capacity of its staff and other MDAs that are part of the project. More so, it corroborates the implementation of the ease of doing business reforms which are being reinforced by the state action on the business enabling reforms (SABER).

“It is a deliverable under the SABER programme that Edo State must implement a PPP framework such as a law establishing the Edo State PPP office that is functional with a public domain of its own.

“The partnership will also help the state to achieve its SABER deliverable such that when the project is completed, Edo State will be among the eight states in Nigeria to have an independent project development fund or project facilitation fund. The project, which is scheduled to commence this year, will be sited in Edo State.”

Earlier, the Managing Director, UKNIAF, Professor Chidiebere Ontia noted, "This partnership is funded by the UK Government through the Sovereign Commonwealth Development Office, and among the states that have requested for our support, we decided to work with Edo state.

“This is the beginning of a very long working relationship and this partnership will guide our accountability on both sides.”

Those at the event include the Commissioner, Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Afishetu Braimoh; Commissioner, Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Osasere Evbuomwan; the Head Public-Private Partnership; representatives from the Edo State Investment Promotion Office, Ministry of Justice and the Office of Strategy, Projects, Policy and Performance Management.

Others are Portfolio Management Lead, UKNIAF, Abdul Oladapo; Project Manager, UKNIAF, Ron Sircar; Infrastructure Finance Component Lead, UKNIAF, David Storer; Project Manager, UKNIAF, Toju Briggs; Communications Lead, UKNIAF, Pawar Raju; Project Analyst, UKNIAF, Olusegun Jaiyesimin, and Workstream Lead, UKNIAF, Adejumobi Fashola.

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