The Federal Government has said it is ready to introduce electronic procurement into thefFederal procurement system to make for easy and effective documentation of contracts.
The Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr Mamman Ahmadu, who said this at the 2022 Federal Permanent Secretaries Procurement Retreat in Uyo on Friday, explained that the electronic procurement system is currently being developed by the Bureau in collaboration with the World Bank, and that10 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been selected as pilot procuring entities before the full roll out of the system service-wide.
The event was organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the theme is ‘Strengthening Public Procurement for Optimal Effectiveness.’
Ahmadu said the benefits to be derived from the electronic procurement are tremendous, adding that respective ministries who are drivers of the procurement system should abreast themselves with all the information before the commencement of the system.
“One of the areas of discussion in this Retreat is the introduction of e-procurement into the Federal Procurement system. The e-procurement system is being developed by the Bureau in collaboration with the World Bank. As the drivers of the procurement reforms in your (Permanent Secretaries) Ministries, it is important that the information is brought to your attention before deploying it.
“Federal Permanent Secretaries are recognized as Accounting Officers in the Ministries under section 20, sub-section 1 of the Public Procurement Act 2007.This places them at the heart of the procurement process as they are liable in person for the breach or contravention of this Act or any of the regulations.
“It is of utmost importance that Permanent Secretaries are properly appraised with the fundamental principles of procurement in order to avoid the banana peels,”he added.
In her remark, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Essan noted that the law regulating public Procurement process exist to ensure that public funds and resources are responsibly utilised with the objective of obtaining value for money spent
Essan urged permanent Secretaries to use greater security and discretion before granting approvals for award of contract which must be within the approval threshold and in conformity with other extant financial regulations.
She thanked the Bureau of Public Procurement for organising the retreat, urging permanent secretaries to make good use of the opportunity by gathering appropriate information to help them in their job.
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, represented by his deputy, Mr Moises Ekpo said that public procurement remains an indispensable and sensitive process that must be properly managed to ensure the well-being of any economy.
Noting that public procurement should reflect public concerns, efficiency, transparency, cost-effectiveness and above all, give value for money, the governor said prior to the enactment of the Procurement Act, corruption in procurement, according to reports, accounted for large fractions of the government’s total budget.
“Let me therefore commend the collaborative efforts of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Bureau for Public Procurement in organizing this Retreat.
“It is the expectation of Nigerians that this Retreat holding in this blessed land of promise will spur great transformation in the critical sectors of our economy and entrench due process in all procurement activities for the good of the people.
“I commend the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement and other management staff for keeping this tradition of Annual Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries to enhance strict adherence to public procurement guidelines. We are indeed excited to host you in our state,” he added.