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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Procurement controversies -- Nigeria

Ministries Are Ignorant of Public Procurement Act - Senator Makarfi
From the report we have, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) did not fully comprehend the relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act and it is also possible that there were deliberate actions to seat on funds to frustrate the implementation and benefit from it. But I don't have evidence to show that that is so because it's being alleged. So all these issues have contributed some complained that it is the Public Procurement Act itself that causes some delays in the process and some are calling for amendment of sections of the Act that will enhance budget performance.

Be that as it may, I think the best thing is actually to educate people-both the implementers and participants in the budget process so that whereever we have delays we can avoid these delays and also processes should commence in a very open and transparent manner to make progress.

FG Advocates Transparent Procurement Process
Speaking in Abuja at a one day workshop on mapping/baseline survey of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government and civil society organizations and networks, the Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society, Prince Chime Ume- Ezeoke, noted that Public Procurement takes a monumental chunk of national resources and as such abundant energy should be dissipated at making it transparent.

In his goodwill message Onno Rhul Country Director of the World Bank affirmed the Banks determination to support effort of the Nigerian government to entrench transparency, accountability and all inclusive governance system.

A major impetus that will bring about the desired change in the process of contract award in the public sector usually characterized by financial indiscipline is being orchestrated by the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society.

The move, according to a statement yesterday aims at ensuring strict compliance of all provisions of the 2007 Public Procurement Act, a law adjudged as critical to bringing sanity in the public sector.

MORE CONTROVERSY: 16 August 2010:

Corruption still high in public contracts, procurement, reveals BusinessDay, LCCI survey
There is still high rate of corruption in the contracting and public procurement processes notwithstanding the establishment of the Bureau of Public Procurement, the latest opinion poll carried out by BusinessDay and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has revealed.

The Public Procurement Act of 2007 established the Bureau of Public Procurement as a regulatory authority responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement. The Bureau is supposed to monitor the prices of tendered items and keep a national database of standard prices and prevent fraudulent and unfair procurement and where necessary apply administrative sanctions.

According to the poll, over 90 percent of respondents believed the level of corruption in the contracts and procurement processes in public sector is still high while about 50 percent believed it is extremely high.

Before now, several reports from government quarters and the media have shown that a high percentage of funds meant to execute projects end up in private pockets. This sadly accounts for the poor quality delivery of public projects. “Project monitoring and supervision by the government to ensure quality service by contractors is weakened by the kind of involvement of public officials in the contract processes,” another respondent added. It is, however, advised that government structures must be re-aligned in a due-process-compliant style such that checkmates sharp practices.

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