The Federal Government of Nigeria says it will begin the process of electronic documentation and packaging of contract procedures to make public procurement more transparent in line with international standards and best practices.
Addressing participants at a two-day retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State capital, the Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mallam Mamman Ahmadu, disclosed that the e-procurement system is being developed by the Bureau in partnership with the World Bank and 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies selected as Pilot Procuring Entities before the full rollout of the e-system.
Ahmadu said the theme of the retreat is “Strengthening Public Procurement for Optimal Effectiveness”, adding that the benefits of e-procurement are tremendous.
He emphasised that one of the objectives of the retreat is to improve procurement implementation in Nigeria and ensure effective execution of the annual budget.
“It is rewarding to note that tremendous improvements have been recorded in public procurement process over the years.
“However, there is need to do more to maximise the gains already recorded and to close gaps on the lapses.”
In her remarks, Dr Folasade Yemi Esan, Head of Service of the Federation, urged the permanent secretaries to demonstrate commitment toward addressing the capacity gaps of all officers involved in procurement cycles.
“This can be done by ensuring frequent training, retraining, tooling/retooling and performance assessment. In line with international best practices and the peculiarities of procurement processes, we must embrace the emplacement of e-procurement practices and private sector participation.”
Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, said the state government is prepared for the reforms of procurement services through the enactment of public procurement laws by the State House of Assembly.
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, stated that the state government has domesticated the regulated procurement culture in the affairs of the state. “Before the enactment of the Procurement Act, corruption in procurement according to reports ac- counted for large fractions of government’s total budget.”