The Nigerian Government has urged establishments to comply strictly with the statutory requirement for procurements.
The Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Mamman Ahmadu reiterated the directive at a procurement retreat for serving Permanent Secretaries, which took place at the weekend in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Ahmadu noted “compliance by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies with procurement planning requirement is very low despite the enormous benefits from preparing such plans”.
According to the DG, the overall performances of the various establishment last year was below average and hoped for better compliance level in the 2018 fiscal year.
“Capital Expenditure is going downwards, while Recurrent Expenditure is going upward; and so, we are looking forward to a reversal of that this fiscal year through procurement planning”, said Ahmadu.
While noting that the bureau would no longer issue ‘Certificates of No Objection’ for projects not included in the procurement plan, he emphasized the need to adhere to planning and monitoring for implementation.
In his words: “The refusal of the MDAs to comply with the statutory requirements for a procurement plan has denied the bureau of vital data inhibiting the capacity for adequate planning”.
He reminded the participants of the provisions of section 58, sub 4 (h) of the Public Procurement Act, which could attract 5 years imprisonment as well as dismissal from service for non submission of procurement plans.
The Director General further noted that the retreat would afford newly appointed Permanent Secretaries the opportunity to develop skills on best practices so as to deliver.
Ahmadu argued that capacity building was one of the ways to develop Nigeria’s greatest assets, which is its human capital.
He disclosed that some Nigerian tertiary institutions have established procurement centres to boost skills of relevant officers.
In a message, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, who made an appearance at the retreat urged workers to follow due process rather than cut corners to achieve assigned task.
Oyo-Ita said such would guarantee proper budget implementation, stressing “the procurement processes for 2018 fiscal year is a platform to show that it is no longer business as usual”.
Also, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Procurement, Senator Joshua Dariye sued for stakeholders’ collaboration to ensure optimum results in the nation’s public procurement practice.