By Odidison Omankhanlen – Lagos
April 22, 2013
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr Emeka Eze, has said over N420 billion had been saved for Federal Government in the last 15 months through the activities of the bureau on contract valuation.
Ezeh, who was speaking at the opening of a retreat for Chief Executive Officers in Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) organised by the Bureau, in Lagos, at the weekend, explained that the said fund was recovered after valuation of contracts that were submitted by contractors, stating that the reduction in contract sum further emphasized the core value of BPP as the drive of public procurement and prudence in public expenditure.
He assured that the bureau would continue to ensure that there was transparency in the bidding process for contracts in the country, stressing that all competent contractors would be given a level playing field to demonstrate their capacity and pass through open competitive bidding process enshrined in the Act.
He explained that the BPP would continue to work hard to ensure the cost of doing business in the country was reduced through the elimination of multiple registration and pre- qualification as well as tendering process that should be increased to give chance for equal competence and capabilities.
“It is important to highlight the Bureau’s effort in promoting transparency, accountability, efficiency and fairness in public sector procurement and the Transformation Agenda of the present administration. The default procurement method remains competitive Tendering, as it is, is the surest guarantee for quality and transparency which PPA 2007 envisages. The direct procurement and selective tendering are the exception rather than the norms,” he said.
On the relevance of the retreat, the BPP boss said it was to identify the deficiencies in the 2012 budget implementation process, so that this year’s budget could be more successful, adding that the participants would also have opportunity to know the procurement process.
He noted that through similar retreats for other public officers, they were now beginning to see public funds as monies to be spent with care, and with high sense of responsibility, adding that these gains were a resultant improved budget implementation and performance in terms of project delivery.
“The benefits of the programme cannot be over emphasized because as it develops, the cost of doing business in the country would reduce through the elimination of multiple registration and pre-qualifications in the various MDAs. The quality of prequalification and tendering process should increase at the end of the day coupled with the better grouping of contractors, consultants and service providers of equal competence and capabilities,” he stated.
Ezeh noted that with the classification of contractors and consultants by the bureau, there will be increased discipline in the Federal procurement process, noting that only capable and competent contractors and service providers would become identifiable and considered for deserving jobs.
He was optimistic that the bureau was working assiduously to consolidate on- going collaboration with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Washington based International Law Institute (ILI) and the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, to establish a public procurement research centre.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Hon Uzor Azubuike, explained that efficient public procurement is vital to the development of the country as it regulates the developmental capital component of the annual budget.
“Contracts should not be awarded at inflated prices. We should stop giving specific contractors more contracts than they can handle.
Contractors that have records of abandoning contracts should be blacklisted. The BPP should not stop at procurement, but go ahead to monitor contracts awarded to ensure Nigerians get value for money,” he advised.