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Moves to Curb Bid-Rigging as N124bn is Saved via Due Diligence

26 May 2013

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By James Emejo in Abuja

About N124.1 billion was saved last year as a result strict adherence to due diligence practice in procurement as well as award of contracts by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

THISDAY gathered exclusively that in furtherance of that, mechanisms were being put in place to stop incidences of bid-rigging and duplication by fraudulent individuals.

It was learnt that one of the ways by which the procurement agency is trying to tame corrupt practices in the procurement system is by indirectly compelling registration of all local and foreign contractors on the Bureau’s evolving database system.
Director-General of BPP, Mr. Emeka Eze, had said in the build-up to the registration that the “database of particulars of federal contractors and service providers for ease of information sourcing and analysis is in conformity with the needs of the new information age.”

But THISDAY gathered from reliable sources who had privilege knowledge of the scheme that it, on the other hand, seeks to put paid to all manners of fraudulent manoeuvres by contractors who often resort to multiple bidding for same contracts in other to gain undue advantage.

The registration scheme would also streamline contractors along their lines of competences as some of them had in the past dabbled into projects where they lacked the expertise.

The source further explained that the new drive for registration on the agency’s database followed tips that high-profile private organisations who enjoy heavy government patronage might encounter problem of identification and recognition from the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) if they are not listed on the BPP database.

As a result, it was disclosed that close to 100 Nigerian and foreign companies comprising contractors, consultants and service providers had been registered so far in BPP’s database of organisations working for the federal government.

The BPP database is being developed in line with Section 5 (h) of the mandate given the agency in the Public Procurement Act, 2007. This seeks to prioritise contractors, consultants and service providers in line with their competences.

Though the government contract-regulating agency did not make the registration compulsory, it might become a yardstick for measuring the reputation and influence of a firm as the issuance of the vital ‘Certificate of No-Objection’ might soon become dependent on it, especially with the advantages of the classification, which might create for sorting of ‘contract seekers’.
The BPP boss said: “It is our plan to take Nigeria to a level where the best practices in public procurement are implemented in the overall interest of national development.”

He added: “National development would come if corruption, which mainly takes place through shoddy procurement practices is eliminated. It is the believe of the agency that if the public contracting system is government by the principles of integrity, transparency, competence and competitiveness as national ethos, a good ground would have been provided for the social, cultural and technological advancement of the country.”

A company chief executive told THISDAY at the weekend that a few traditional government contractors in the big league of constructions recently got reminders to register, thereby rousing their curiosity and prompting “many of us to follow suit.”
He added: “Though the only process could sometimes be demanding, it was relieving as it provides another opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is not the first time it is happening in the world.

We are also registered in Tanzania by the procurement agency and in the US by the procurement regulator, but we have to ensure we are sincere with what we are doing here.”action in the three states was bound to affect economic activities, the impact would be minimal in view of the contributions of the region to the Nigerian economy.

In their view, “The impact of the state of emergency on Nigerian consumer companies is marginally negative,
“We believe the companies that will be largely affected are animal feed producers, such as UACN’s Grand Cereals and Livestock Feeds, as well as Flour Mills of Nigeria’s Premier Feed, which source raw materials such as sorghum and maize from the north of Nigeria. It is estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Borno State is the second-largest

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