The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has said that it would soon unveil price checker to promote transparency and ensure that prices of commonly procured goods through the agency are uniform.
Speaking yesterday during ongoing first batch of 2019 procurement conversion training for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Lagos, its Director-General, Mamman Ahmadu, said the price checker is to ensure that across all government agencies, commonly procured goods are bought at a price that is uniform to discourage malpractices.
He said the agency is working very hard to digitize its operations, to reduce the level of human intervention in the public procurement process.
He said the ongoing procurement reforms has helped in preventing corruption in Nigeria adding that the BPP is taking the lead on the procurement reform process by developing the capacity for its workforce to implement the reforms using trainings.
“The reform is imperative for the purpose of good governance, which is the hallmark of any serious system. As it were, efficiency, transparency, accountability and value for money in the public procurement process ca only be achieved through concerted, sustained and consistent effort of government at skill acquisition needed for the process,” he said.
“Nigeria’s status as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) makes it necessary that all hands must be on deck to see to it that Nigeria escapes from corruption,” he added.
Ahmadu, who was represented by Director Energy Infrastructure at BPP, Babatunde Kuye, said the role of the agency is to actually come out with systems to stop corruption in public Procurement and Contracting Process.
“Our area, is preventing corruption, while Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating corruption when it has already occurred. So, in doing this, the BPP is the regulator, following up with the regulation, guidelines and ensuring that where there are problems, the problems will be escalated to sister agencies. Ours is to come out with systems, that will ensure that as far as possible, corruption is prevented in the procurement process,” he stated.
He added that the first thing is to ensure that the officers, who will be working to ensure transparency even know what the law is. “They are also well trained in what the processes are, they know the dos and donts and also the consequences of doing the wrong thing and the advantages of doing the right thing. Capacity development is the first thing, which we have done.
The second is ensure there are regulations that guide procurement officers in doing the right thing.