From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
IT was a big relief local contractors who had abandoned their sites over three years ago due to lack of funds, as the Federal Government, yesterday, said it has injected N350 billion into the economy to enable them go back to work.
Declaring open the second National Conference on Public Procurement (NACOPP) in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, said the injection would ginger the contractors to discharge their obligations to the development of infrastructure, warning, however, that every kobo spent must be guided by the Procurement Act.
“Government recently injected N350 billion into the economy to enable contractors discharge their obligation for the development of infrastructure. This poses greater responsibility on stakeholders that every kobo disbursed is guided by the Procurement Act,” the SGF, who was represented by Mrs. Philis Nwokedi said.
According to the SGF, the current administration has promised change to Nigerians and will deliver it, assuring that the dividends of democracy would soon be seen by Nigerians.
“I am convinced that when the dividends of democracy flourish, all will benefit. We are confident that the state stands to benefit from the procurement system that is transparent, efficient, competitive and accountable,” he said.
In his remarks, the Acting Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Ahmed Abdu, disclosed that 25 states have set up procurement agencies through the inspiration of BPP. He acknowledged the support from World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and other foreign organisations.
However, the Acting Director of AfDB, Dr. Andoh Mensah, said that globally, procurement accounts for a substantial portion of national budget, approximately, 15 to 22 per cent of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and 29 to 40 per cent of government’s expenditure.