10 years after the Public Procurement Act was enacted, compliance with the provisions of the act amongst ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government is still very low, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Procurement, Hon. Oluwole Oke disclosed.
Oke however, noted that many procurement officers in the MDAs are still not familiar with the provisions of the act.
While on the entourage of the committee during its oversight functions to some agencies and government departments in Lagos, during the week, THISDAY observed that some of the agencies visited do not comply with the basic provisions of the act nor show verifiable proofs of procurement planning process that aligns with provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Oke lamented that in most cases, the Chief Executive Officers of the agencies and parastatals who were by the provisions of section 20, sub section 1, of the Procurement Act are charged with line supervision of procurement activities have relinquished that powers to the procurement desk and the procurement heads who he said were unfamiliar with the provisions of the act.
Oke, who noted that procurement process was a conduit pipe through which government loses money that could have been deployed for developmental projects called the Bureau of Public Enterprises to be more up and doing in deepening awareness and adherence to the constitutionally provided for procurement process in order to plug leakages in government expenditure at the level of the MDAs.
â€œThe rate of compliance with the Public Procurement Act is very low. The various officers manning procurement desk assume that they are familiar, and understand the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, and in most cases the Chief Executive Officers of these agencies and parastatals who are by the provisions of section 20, sub section 1, are charged with line supervision of procurement activities relinquish that powers to the procurement desk and the procurement heads, like I said do not really understand the provisions of the act.
“That is what we have seen generally. So this oversight function, we are using it to sensitise, educate, advocate and encourage MDAs to appreciate and abide by the provisions of the act otherwise they will find themselves in prison. When I say not familiar, they assume they know. Like in the Nigerian educational system, when people go to the university to run a course, all they after is to pass the examinations but having deep knowledge and being able to put same into practice is not always the case.”