From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Federal Government has urged the armed forces and security agencies in the country to be guided by its Executive Order 3/2017, that makes it mandatory for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) to give priority to local industries in their procurement.
This was coming just as the federal government described defence procurement process in the military before President Muhammadu Buhari took over office in May, 2015, as “ad-hoc and unpredictable”.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, who gave the charge at the first Nigerian army procurement seminar in Abuja, said it was as a result of the unpredictable manner at which military procurement were made that led to the setting up of the presidential committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007-2015, by the president.
Sheni, who said the federal government has prohibited officers of other cadres from the procurement functions, described the seminar with theme “Enhancing Nigerian operations through effective procurement system”, as timely in building the capacity of its procurement cadre.
Represented by Director of Procurement in the ministry, Engr. Michael Chukuma, at the occasion, Sheni, said “I will like to place on record that with the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the procurement procedures in the ministry and, indeed, the services are now re-organised and designed to follow due process in line with the provision of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and other government directives,”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, said before taking over office, there were serious allegations leveled against the Nigerian Army in the procurement of its platforms and logistics.
Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Major-General Chris Jemitola, however, noted that all these have changed. “Our approach to procurement in army headquarters has made a real difference to our operations across the nation and peace support operations outside the country,” he said.
Under his leadership, Buratai said, the army has streamlined the procurement process in line with the public procurement Act, 2007, to international best practices and other sundry government policies relating to procurement.
“The army’s equipment profile has tremendously improved, as can be noticed in our recorded successes in various operations, especially in operation Lafiya Dole.
“This is to keep up with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in the Nigerian public service and other areas.