Private-Public Partnership, its effect on community development: a study of N.J. Densi & Sons Limited, Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Background of the study
Public-Private partnerships relate to perceptions and practices affecting public private sector relationships in ensuring national/global health, development and wellbeing of the community, and the conceptual aspects of such relationships, including the role of the key players in collaborating to make these partnerships successful or otherwise (Fulmer, 2009).
In Ebonyi State and other states of the federation, sustainable access to healthcare and other socio-economic services and products can be accomplished through public-private partnerships, where the government delivers the minimum standard of services, products and or care, the private sector like N.J. Densi & Sons Limited helps to bring funding and other resources. Such collaborations will be especially be productive in promoting poverty alleviation through micro-finance, enhancing health through partnerships as has been the case with polio eradication and other child immunization efforts.
Basically, in some rural areas found under Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, it could be sand that the conditions of people living within this vicinity are characterized by lack of basic infrastructure like electricity, pipe bone water, good road etc. which are the basic need of man. Compared to the urban area, rural area have a smaller share service, domestic water, electricity, communication system, education, crude mode of agricultural production as well as erosion menace. Even when the services exist, there is poor use or inadequate access to the due to organizational inadequately and the very high cost.
A special effort from private-public partners is therefore required to provide appropriate social and economic infrastructure for the dwellers. This ultimately inform the need for community development. Community development is a concept whose philosophy is based on extending the benefit of development to the pervest among these who seek livelihood in the rural area.
In the world over, Local Government Areas have been recognized as necessary for the acceleration for community development programmes and project amongst rural dwellers of those at the grass root level. Consequent upon this profound idea, a lot of reforms have been carried out in the Nigeria’s local government system, typical of these includes the famous 1976 and 1988 local government reforms which drew the government nearer to people at local level. Most administrative policy often regards the 1976 reform as most sweeping and impressive.
Desirous of development of the community level, the Babangida’s administration established some of the programmes that was meant to help in community development in the country. like directorate of food, roads and rural infrastructure (DFRRI) in 1986, national directorate for employment (NDE) in 1987, mass mobilization for self-reliance and economic recovering (MAMSER) 1987, family economic advancement programme (PEAP) etc so, some of these programmes like (DFRRI) established with the decree, 4 as its operational shelter. Subject to this decree, the directorate was charged “to identify and provide other programmes that would enhance greater productive economic activities in the rural area as well as help to improve the quality of life and standard of living of rural people”
However, it is one thing to have a sound administrative policy and another thing to implement it to obtain the desired objective. More so, the nature and content of community development will reflect the political, social and economic circumstances of the local community in question at the point in time. Despite these efforts been made by the federal government in order to develop communities in this country, it seems that nothing have been done at all. Some time, government will send found to enhance the development in the communities but the political leaders will siphon or embezzle the find or misappropriate the find.
More so, there is an ideology that is in existence in Nigeria government, that government work is no man’s work such idea have made government workers to lack accountability and abounded some government project, making the lives of the rural people unbearable. But as accountability is one of the features of private institution, it will help the Nigeria government to accelerate development to community by local government partnering with the private companies or institutions which cannot contribute to the implementation of a project or programme and live it without its accomplishment, as government normally do because it is public fund alone and no area will ask for the account at the end.
So, one may ask: what is public- private-partnership? The idea of public private partnership from my point of view, is a situation where the public or government institution contribute some quota and the private contribute some quota in order to achieve or accomplish are particular goal or objective.
Furthermore, Private-public partnership is a situation where the public institution and individual or group of individuals come together in a mutual agreement so as to work together for the accomplishment of a given project or projects. From the foregoing, this study tends to ascertain the effect of private-public partnership on community development; A study of N.J. Densi & Sons Limited, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
- Statement of the problem
Despite the fact that the national and the state governments according to the 1999 constitution are given allocation for local government administration which is geared towards community development, unfortunately local governments have not met its statutory obligations of distributing basic social and infrastructural amenities to its rural people. This has reduced the rate of development expected from this communities and as a result brought sluggish effect to the social-economic development of the society. This results in under utilizations of dividends of democracy, which in turn leads to stagnation, low standard of living, and high crime rate, low rate of employment as well as total poverty.
Although the study agrees that PPP can really help in tackling deficit infrastructure, it stresses that this can only happen when parties involved in PPP projects equally have shared risks and responsibilities and that lack of expertise on governments side could lead to regulatory capture. ―While PPP can address infrastructure challenges, this is achievable when parties involved have equally shared responsibilities. However, there is a lacuna in the regulatory framework governing PPP at present (Initiative for Public Policy Analysis 2008). This threatens projects executed under the model. Aside from this, given the sophistication of issues involved, governments have limited expertise to effectively regulate the PPP projects. Relying on firms under PPP for expertise may lead to regulatory capture. LI and Filer (2007) and Wilson (2008) noted that there are many challenges toward ensuring good legal and regulatory frameworks in developing countries especially when the business investors need to be convinced that they are not independent of the society, host community or the natural environment in which they operate. ―Many tiers of governments across the federation do not have PPP enabling law (Initiative for Public Policy Analysis 2008).This tends to suggest that a foundational basis for private provision of infrastructure is missing and such pronouncements are without legal basis. The implication is that states are engaging in projects that could be nullified if challenged in court of law. The absence of this law or regulatory framework is a red flag to private sector and consequently raises fear of what could become of their investments (Sotola and Ayodele 2011).
In view of the foregoing, the researcher formulated the following questions to guide the study:
- To what extent does weak regulatory framework affect the implementation of PPP project by N.J. Densi & Sons Limited in Abakaliki Local Government?
- To what extent does inadequate allocation of risks and responsibilities affect the implementation of PPP project in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State?
- How does Abakaliki local government respond towards the Acceleration of development in its communities?
- Objectives of the study
The broad objective of this study is to ascertain the effect of private-public partnership on community development using N.J. Densi & Sons Limited as a study.
Specifically, the study is set to:
- Determine how weak regulatory framework affect the implementation of PPP project by N.J. Densi & Sons Limited in Abakaliki Local Government
- Ascertain the extent inadequate allocation of risks and responsibilities affect the implementation of PPP project in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State.
- Determine how Abakaliki local government respond towards the Acceleration of development in its communities.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
From the objective of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated:
HO: Weak regulatory framework do not affect the implementation of PPP project by N.J. Densi & Sons Limited in Abakaliki Local Government.
HI: Weak regulatory framework affect the implementation of PPP project by N.J. Densi & Sons Limited in Abakaliki Local Government.
HO2: Inadequate allocation of risks and responsibilities do not affect the implementation of PPP project in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State.
HI2: Inadequate allocation of risks and responsibilities affect the implementation of PPP project in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State.
HO3: Abakaliki local government do not respond towards the Acceleration of development in its communities.
HI3: Abakaliki local government respond towards the Acceleration of development in its communities.
1.5 Significance of the study
This study on the effect of private-public partnership on community development: a study of N.J. Densi & Sons Limited will be of benefit to the management and the staff of N.J. Densi & Sons Limited, Local government administrators as well as the federal government in policy formulation as regards private-public partnership geared towards community development.
The study will contribute to existing body of knowledge as it will provide material as well as related literature for future researchers in private-public partnership. This will enhance research in this area. The findings from this study will remain material for both students and policy makers on what is expected of them for community development.
To the government, the research findings will expose the strength and weakness of private –public partnership in the area of community development. This will re-direct and focus the attention of government on the strategy of rural or community development.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study cover the contributions of N.J. Udensi to developing rural community in Abakaliki Local Government Area and the impact of such contributions to people’s lives. This study is meant to be covered within the period of 3-5 months. This short period is necessitated by the period meant to be covered by the semester.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
In the course of this study the researcher encountered some constraints which include sourcing of primary and secondary materials and also other logistic. Uncooperative altitude of the respondents to keep apartment was also a major limitation. Information from respondents were not elaborated because of limited knowledge about the operations of private-public partnership. Despite these, the research made effort to ensure that the work sees the light of the day.
1.8 Theoretical Framework
This work adopted modernization theory of development which was propounded by Walt Rostow (1960). The theory states that development in developing worlds can be attained through following the processes of development that are used by currently developed nations(Rostow,1960).It is a social economic theory which is sometimes known as the development theory. It usually highlights the positive role played by those countries that are developed in modernizing and facilitating sustainable development in those countries that are less developed and it often contrasted to dependency theory. This means that for development to occur in underdeveloped countries there is need for developed countries provide aid to developing countries to enable them learn from their own progress. It looks at the state to be the central actor in bringing about modernization in societies that are backward. The theory also believes that underdeveloped countries could grow faster than developed countries and catch up and that it was possible for equal development to be reached between the underdeveloped and developed countries (Hollis and Robinson, 1986).
Rostows stages of economic development are very important in the sense that every society supposed to go through all the five stages of development. These stages or transition periods happen at varying lengths from country to country and even from region to region. They are important in the sense that they foster economic self reliance for the development of all sectors to bring about modernization.
Rostows (1960) modernization theory of development will be relevant to this study as most developed nations make use of private-public partnership as their developmental strategy.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
The following are the study definition to enhance understanding this work, the following concepts are defined and explained as follows
- Private: this is refers to individual or group of individuals activities which is not of government or public benefit.
- Public: this can be refers as any thing that is involving people in general (government) rather than limiting it to a particular person or group of people.
- Partnership: this can be seen as a situation where by two or more groups of people came together in agreement with a business to achieve a specific aim or objective in favour of them or for the public.
- community: this is refers to a group of village, clans and social units that are bound together by common culture, language, traditions, aspiration, interests and needs which they preserve and promote in their only
development: this connote the provision and maintenance of these bitter to lacking service (tangible and intangible) that makes for better living for the people including harmony and utility in the society.