•Moves to prevent obstacles to 2018 Budget
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has deployed a data exchange strategy in the bidding process with a view to eradicating the patronage of portfolio companies as well as prevent companies from providing false claims in their submissions to gain undue competitive advantage.
The agency recently deployed an updated version of the National Database of Contractors, integrated with other governmental agencies, including the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for real-time data exchange.
The BPP Director General, Mamman Ahmadu, who spoke Tuesday at the opening of a six-day sectoral capacity building workshop on public procurement process, also disclosed that the agency had moved to address procurement impediments that may affect the smooth implementation of the 2018 federal government budget.
He stated that the capacity-building programme, which is being attended by heads of procurement departments in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, was part of measures to have an all-inclusive procurement process.
As the regulatory agency responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement, he stated that the BPP was putting in place adequate measures to have an efficient procurement system.
According to him, as part of BPP’s drive for innovation in running a sustainable public procurement process, the agency recently deployed an upgraded version of the National Database for Contractors.
The database, he noted, is integrated with other sister government agencies such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and the National Pension Commission (PenCom), for real time data exchange.
“This data exchange is aimed at fighting corruption by eliminating the use of falsified documents in the bidding process.
“The exchange of data also aims to eradicate the patronage of portfolio companies, prevent companies from providing false claims in their submissions to gain undue competitive advantage.
“For instance, the number of personnel a company claims to employ in a bid to secure a contract should match the number making contributions in pensions, ITF and employee compensation scheme,” he said.
Ahmadu also stated that the BPP had deployed a National Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) to ensure that public procurement information is publicly available so that all stakeholders can engage with the entire procurement cycle.
This would enable interested parties such as civil society organisations and the private sector to monitor every contract awarded by the federal government to ensure that they are delivered as expected, he said.
He added: “When things are hidden it is very easy to do sharp practices, thinking that nobody would detect what you are doing.
“However, when they are open, you have no place to hide and if you are doing something untoward, it will easily be noticed by others and be brought to public notice and that is the reason we want to be open in the procurement process.
“This will also be an avenue to curb instances of project abandonment, as contractors that are bad performers will be easily detected through the portal.”