A bill to establish the Enugu State Public-Private-Partnership law, on Tuesday, scaled second reading at the Enugu State House of Assembly.
The bill tagged, “A law to provide for Public Private Partnerships in Enugu State, Establish the Office of Public Private Partnerships, Enhance Infrastructure and Service Development and For Other Connected Purposes,” received a heated debate as members tried to contribute their views.
The Leader of the House, Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, representing Udenu Constituency, extolled the importance of the bill and urged his colleagues to allow its passage into law.
Ezeugwu said that the law would provide enabling environment that would attract investors to the state, adding that it would provide security to investors.
He expressed optimism that when passed into law, it would increase efficiency and ensure that the masses were not ripped off.
Hon. Matthias Ekweremadu, Aninri Constituency, posited that the PPP law would bring a change in the economy of the state, saying that Enugu could ‘become a Dubai of Africa.’
Ekweremadu who was speaking against the backdrop of the just concluded three-day Economic Investment Summit, organised by the state government, said that with the passage of the bill into law, Enugu could do well like Singapore.
House Committee Chairman on Commerce and Industry, Hon. Johnbull Nwagu, Udi North, said that with the law, Enugu State would open up to the world, as investors would be attracted to invest in it.
Nwagu posited that PPP would help grow internally generated revenue for the state.
He said that some private individuals developed America by building bridges and afterwards collected tolls for their investment.
“If individuals are allowed into government business, it shall be well with Enugu State,” Nwagu posits.
Hon. Matthew Elochukwu Ugwueze, Igbo Eze South, described the bill as a welcome development, saying that it was a global development that governments don’t engage directly in business.
“In every developed country, today, government don’t run businesses any more. With the PPP Bill, Enugu State will now thrive in tourism and other ventures,” he said, pointing out that when the gains of PPP come to light, those things witnessed overseas would be replicated in Enugu State.
“Those things we travel out to see, we’ll see them here,” he said.
Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, Nsukka East, said that the essence of the bill was to create a legal framework that would enable private individuals to come into business in the state.
He said that the PPP would facilitate job creation, improve infrastructure development, as well as increase revenue base of the state.
Nwamba posited that investors had come to the states before but went away, because the environment was investors friendly.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Edward Ubosi, thanked members for their robust debate, saying that the state stood to benefit a lot if the bill was passed into law.
He, therefore, mandated the House committees on Commerce and Industry, Finance and Judiciary to organise public debate on the bill and report back to the House in a month’s time.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State bill to amend the Finance Law cap 77 revised law, passed the first reading.