By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
In order to strengthen public procurement in 246 tertiary institutions, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) organized a workshop for heads of institutions on the need to adhere to the Public Procurement Act 2007 in the award of contractors.
The two-day capacity-building workshop on the public procurement process for TETFund beneficiary institutions attracted vice-chancellors, rectors, provosts, the Director General of BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, and the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono.
In his address, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mr Echono, said the workshop is meant for beneficiary institutions to promote accountability, transparency, and efficiency for the effective delivery of projects across the country.
Echono acknowledged the partnership and cooperation BPP has extended to TETFund over the years.
According to him, the workshop would serve as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, which foster understanding cooperation, and excellence in service delivery.
“Our beneficiaries as public institutions are therefore required by law to comply with the provisions of the act in their procurement process,’’ he stated.
Echono said TETFund is committed to the provision of quality intervention projects that generations of Nigerians would benefit from and would ensure best practices are deployed in the executive of various projects nationwide.
He explained that the fund considers as a priority the adherence to the public procurement reforms put in place by the government.
The TETFund boss said the workshop is meant to familiarize heads of beneficiary public institutions with the operations; standards and benchmarks that would ensure attain transparency competitiveness, professionalism, and cost-effectiveness in the procurement system of the fund interventions.
He expects the heads of public institutions to be equipped with the knowledge of the relevant laws, procedures, and processes of contract award and procurement reforms meant to prevent leakages, corruption, and poor infrastructural development in the country.
Two papers were presented by staff of BPP; Overview of public procurement and principles of advertisement. Four technical sessions were conducted for the heads of tertiary institutions.
Speaking to newsmen, Echono, said TETFund has identified about 1,000 projects that are distressed and that some have passed their completion date.
He disclosed that TETFund undertook a review of 163 projects in various tertiary institutions while 211 others would be completed if measures are taken to source for local substitutes of items required to complete them.
The executive secretary of TETFund said there would be penalties or sanctions for those found wanting, noting, “some of the contractors have been handing over to security agencies.”
Echono revealed that the fund has secured approval for a special intervention grant in the 2023 budget for some of the abandoned projects.
He said measures were introduced to tackle some of the abandoned projects, which did not achieve results, stating, “some contractors have even moved out of site and many projects have also passed their date of completion.”