By James Emejo in Abuja
The acting Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Ahmed Abdu, has vowed to employ stricter evaluation measures in its prior review responsibility to reduce wastage in the public contacting system.
The bureau had through proper scrutinisation of contracts recovered the sum of N680 billion to federal coffers within five years.
Speaking in Abuja at the close of the second National Conference on Public Procurement (NACOP), he said further savings in the contract award process will mean a greater focus on corruption preventive measures, as against emphasise on corrective measures.
He said the N680 billion saved between 2009 and 2014 for the nation through its prior review of procurements made by ministries, departments and agencies of government was enabled by the sanitisation of the public procurement system through the registration, categorisation and classification of federal contractors, consultants and service providers on its national database.
He stressed that the efforts were to ensure that only bidders of similar rankings tender for the same projects and that bidders do not tender for contracts that are beyond their technical and financial capacities.
He further noted that as a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the country’s fight against corruption was expected to shift from corrective to preventive measures.
“This will involve ensuring strict compliance with extant regulations and guidelines on public procurement,” he added.
He clarified that the public procurement legal framework, which was exemplified by the Public Procurement Act 2007, is patterned after the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law on public procurement.
According to him: “All of these are aimed at aligning Nigeria’s procurement system with global best practices.”
He said: “NACOPP is a veritable forum to achieve synergy with state governments on procurement issues. This is because, despite the different levels of government in the federation, there is only one Nigerian economy.”
Earlier, moderator of the programme, Dr. Abiodun Adeniyi, emphasised that the conference was particularly motivated by the understanding among Federal and State Procuring entities on how best to implement the public procurement reform.
Adeniyi, a communications consultant, said that NACOP was a recent creation to drum up the fact that Nigeria has one economy, with transparency, accountability and quality as key goals of an ideal procurement system.
He said it made sense to have all “critical state holders at all levels to be on the proverbial same page in the reform implementation process.”
The forum serves as a consultative and advisory body to all the tiers of government in the federation and promotes a sustainable relationship and synergy between heads of procurement regulatory bodies at the federal and state levels.
The theme for this year’s event is: ‘Sustaining the anti-corruption campaign through Best Procurement Practices’ and aims to introduce state government representatives to the objectives and benefits of public procurement reform; provide a national platform for policy makers to interact and share experiences on public procurement procedures and processes and; and identify and agree on further strategies for improving on the implementation of the public procurement reform.