Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Ghana (FES) has identified weak competitiveness in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements in Ghana.
The FES said local assemblies prefer the build-operate-transfer and design-build-operate categories of PPP that mostly supplement their infrastructural challenges.
This was contained in a FES Research report titled: “Public Private Partnerships in Ghana: Interrogating the efficacy of a politically convenient practice”
The 25-page report which was launched in Accra established that, there was no proper conceptual framing of PPP arrangements.
It also examined PPP projects within the context of Ghana National PPP Policy document and provided exhaustive guidelines on how to engage in PPP arrangements in the country.
The study focused on market projects at the local level that are central to Assemblies revenue generation drive.
The document among other things outlined certain principles as key to successful PPP arrangements including value-for-money analysis, appropriate allocation of risk, affordability, local content and technology transfer, accountability, transparency and competitiveness.
A Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department, University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu, who led in the study said little effort was exerted to make the option competitive except to wait for the private sector with money and a business proposal to come forward.
He explained that, they were motivated to undertake the project because of government’s flagship one district one factory project which would basically rely on the PPP.
“We thought we should be able to build and highlight some of the challenges that is associated with this method of development so that, government will learn lessons from it and move forward,” he said.
He said the report sought to build the capacity of the local officials at the District, Municipal and Metropolitan levels.
He said the capacity of the assemblies were not well developed when it comes to understanding issues of PPP arrangements, because of that they are not able to do proper value for money analysis.
He observed that the absence of competition seriously affects the value-for-money component of PPP projects at the local level.
Dr. Alidu said developing the capacity for local assemblies on PPP was one of the recommendations made by the study, adding that, proper legislation was needed to safeguard indiscrete use of discretion by local authorities.
He said the study also recommends that, PPP projects should go through normal tender processes to maximize value-for-money, and also advocated for the competition and transparency in the awards of PPP projects by local assemblies.
He urged the government to restore confidence in the private sector and work with it as the engine of growth rather than seeing it as profit-driven exploitative enterprises.
FES is a German political not-for-profit organization which has been operating in Ghana for over 45 years now.