STATEMENT AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP UNIT, (PPP’s AS A VEHICLE FOR THE DELIVERY OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE ASSETS AND SERVICES IN SIERRA LEONE) BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE
DR ERNEST BAI KOROMA THURSDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2015 AT MIATTA CONFERENCE CENTRE
Hon Vice President,
Ministers of Government,
Members of Parliament,
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular corps,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me start by once again thanking you for your resilience and support toward ending the Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone. We were able to defeat Ebola because we formed great partnerships – partnerships between Sierra Leoneans and internationals, partnerships between the central government and communities, partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and the NGO world. Today, as we moved on to implement our Post Ebola Recovery Programme, we are strengthening public private sector partnership to ensure success. I have long worked towards this partnership. Coming from the private sector, and becoming chief executive officer of Sierra Leone’s public sector, I firmly belief that public private sector partnerships will be very effective in delivering our programmes.
I envision public-private sector partnership across a whole range of areas – from health service delivery to agriculture, education, infrastructural development and mining.
Government alone does not have the resources and expertise to deliver on all the priorities set out in our Agenda for Prosperity. The budgeted cost for the delivery of the Agenda for Prosperity is approximately US$5.2 billion. Government is faced with the daunting task of generating up to US$2.2 billion, leaving a funding gap of about US$3 billion. Clearly, US$5.2 billion is beyond Government’s budgetary capacity. Therefore, in line with global trends, the Government has decided to explore PPPs as a priority option to meet its infrastructural and institutional development needs. Huge potential exist for returns to private sector in these partnerships; huge potentials exist for Sierra Leone to benefit from these partnerships.
Most of us are aware that the development of infrastructure in Sierra Leone has largely been through the traditional form of contract award by central and local governments through budgetary allocations. Newer forms of public private sector partnership have the potential to go beyond that. My call today is the design and deployment of these newer models in our country. And I pledge here today my total support, and the support of my government for public private partnerships.
We are putting in place the structures to push this through. I established the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit in my office to see this through, and with the support of the UNDP, DfID, AfDB, the WB and IFC, and hard work of the Unit’s coordinator and his team, we are moving forward.
Sierra Leone has a long list of potentially viable PPP infrastructure project opportunities that can be optimized through PPPs. I am therefore encouraging all my Government MDAs and Local Government Authorities to not just embrace the PPP initiative but to go forward and practically engage in PPPs for the effective and efficient delivery of quality infrastructure assets and services.
At this point I will like to share with our Development Partners that now that the PPP unit has evolved from the Establishment to the Growth and sustainability phase it is important that we fund the Unit’s Project Transaction Advisory Support Fund. The fund has been established to support the preparation of PPP potential projects into bankable proposals. This is very important in negotiating projects with investing partners, promoting competition, creating value for money and optimizing outputs. There must be no turning back. PPP is the best way forward in solving our country’s infrastructural and other deficits; it is a better model for delivering on many of our priority programmes
It is now my honor, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to formally Launch the PPP unit in Sierra Leone.
Thank you .