The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), has recently advocated an improvement in policy environment regarding public-private partnerships (PPP) in the Healthcare system in Nigeria. The group highlighted that successful public-private partnerships usually contribute to the reduction of health disparities. This is done through the extension of quality health services to underserved populations in the country. This concern was laid by the NESG during a webinar under the theme, “PPP for Healthcare: Getting the Policy Environment Right”.
At the webinar, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Kola Owodunni, said that Nigeria, as a country, still has a lot of work to do regarding the provision of quality healthcare for the citizens of the country. According to the statement of Owodunni, quality healthcare is a human right, and should not be considered as a luxury, especially for a nation like Nigeria that is still struggling to achieve sustainable economic transformation.
Private sector can solve some of Nigeria challenges.
Owodunni stated that Nigeria, as a nation, is still vying for social inclusion. He also stressed that PPPs have globally displayed its potential to aid the optimization of resource allocation, augmentation of service delivery, and minimization of waste. Through these partnerships, the government is enabled to have its focus on regulation, policy making, and strategic planning. To make this happen, the private sector is responsible for provision of managerial excellence, innovation and specialized skills.
Also, the Thematic Lead of Health as a Business TG, NESG HPC, Dr. Ola Brown, stated that regardless of Nigeria being the largest economy across the whole of Africa, the country generates less taxes, compared to other African countries. This is an indication of the economic challenges of Nigeria, which contributes to the difficulty of the country to ensure healthcare finance. He added that the private sector can help solve challenges in Nigeria through PPPs.
There are some barriers to the implementation.
It was said by Dr. Brown that the private sector can provide solution to some of the economic challenges in Nigeria by cushioning the financial burden that is borne by the government, and providing massive opportunities for investors. This will be done through an offer of high benefits and returns across several sectors. Dr. Noimot Balogun, HPC member, in her presentation on PPP Analysis, emphasized that there are some barriers to the implementation of PPP.
Some of the barriers that causes impediments to the implementation of public-private partnership include limited understanding of the scope of the collaboration, misaligned goals and incentives, and unstable policies fostered by non-continuity as a result of political and power dynamics. The Director of the Public Private Partnership Resource Department of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Dr. Jobson Oseodion Ewalefoh, was also present at the webinar that was themed “PPP for Healthcare: Getting the Policy Environment Right”.
Due to its complexity, PPP is not done in isolation.
Represented by the head of Energy and Urban Infrastructure PPP, at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Ahmed Abdulrazaq, Dr. Jobson Oseodion Ewalefoh stated that PPPs arepp usually not done in isolation, because they are complex. He added that when embarking on PPP, the most essential consideration is the legal framework. This is because the legal framework is responsible for the law of the public and private sectors, which is embedded in the ICRC.