Recently, there has been a fight for turf on the privatization and concession spaces among government agencies, especially between Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Despite the development of a Public Private Partnership policy in 2009, the establishment of ICRC and the creation of PPP units in nearly all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the PPP governance framework as currently structured was complicated and this has discouraged reliable private sector investors from the infrastructure market.
These two agencies are tasked with carrying out similar mandates and sometimes stakeholders are confused about the agency to meet when their services are needed to go into agreement with the government.
The ICRC’s is saddled with the responsibility of developing the appropriate framework for concessioning and handling all infrastructure projects relating to the grant of concessions, while the BPE focuses on assets sale; management contract; liquidation; commercialization; leasing and concession.
The mandates given to ICRC are substantially similar to the mandates of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and its supervising authority and these are tasks that could be easily and seamlessly accommodated within these two bureaucracies.
As port concession is ongoing, The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) wants BPE to be involved in the concessioning of the ports thereby leaving ICRC out of the plan and this has led to so many issues as both agencies which seem to be having a conflict of roles.
Also, when these two agencies are merged, this will reduce cost for the government as funds will be properly utilised the creation of another agency with similar function will cost the country more funds as these agency needs to be managed and funded.
Another example of agencies with similar roles is National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON). These agencies ensure that the products, foods and drugs in the country are of good standard.
The federal government needs to review the functions and activities of each agency in the country to avoid irrelevant use of resources. Some of these agencies are not getting the funds needed for operation as the workers are poorly paid and projects are delayed. It is therefore imperative for the government to ensure that no two agencies are performing similar roles.