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BPP tasks Permanent Secretaries on transparency, procurement reforms


Mamman Ahmadu

The Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mamman Ahmadu has charged Permanent Secretaries and other stakeholders in the procurement process to ensure transparency and accountability in carrying out their responsibilities.

Speaking at the ninth yearly Public Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries, held in Lagos at the weekend, the BPP boss said the timing of the exercise is apt, adding that the consistency of the forum has improved public procurement process, and led to better public funds expenditure pattern and budget implementation in the country.

He said the programme was an opportunity to bring all participants on the same page in the implementation of the procurement reform programme, adding that subsequent retreats will be for the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of parastatals and the directorate cadre in the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

To ensure the success of the procurement reform, the BPP is, in line with global best practices, embarking on new sustainable public procurement initiatives. For instance, the National Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO), the global award winning initiative which further emphasise the need for transparency, competition and level playing field among contractors, consultants and service providers, has placed Nigeria among the best public procurement regulators in the world,” he said.

The BPP boss added that while the national upgrade, a version 2 of the Contractors, Consultants and Service Providers (CCSP) is on going, the Price-Checker platform, which harmonises prices of items, is also in progress.

He disclosed that BPP currently runs Research Centres at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and the University of Lagos, among others to boost capacity of key stakeholders in the public procurement practice.

He urged the Federal Government to institutionalize the National Conference on Public Procurement (NACOPP) as a platform to provide a regular forum for advancing the course of procurement reform nationwide.

Ahmadu disclosed that with support from the BPP and international development agencies, 25 states have so far established their procurement regulatory agencies to enable the agency continually meet emerging challenges.

He said the BPP remains committed to working with Permanent Secretaries to ensure that success is continually achieved in the Nigeria procurement system.

He said the yearly retreat helps BPP to take stock of progress in the reform and, most importantly, discuss the actions needed for budget implementation in the area of Public Procurement. He reiterated the key roles being played by Permanent Secretaries, who he sees as the Accounting Officers, in the implementation of the public procurement reform.

He said: “Federal Permanent Secretaries are recognised as the Accounting Officers in the Ministries under Section 20, Sub-Section 1 of the Public Procurement Act 2007 (PPA, 2007). This places them at the heart of the procurement process. They take responsibility for ensuring the compliance of MDAs with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”

Ahmadu commended the impressive attendance of the different representatives from the Federal Ministries and BPP’s counterparts from the states are highly commendable despite their very tight schedules.

He said the participants demonstrated that the betterment of Nigeria through the procurement reform is paramount adding that public procurement promotes good governance even as the public procurement reform process is receiving the attention it deserves.

He said the annual retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries has made Nigeria to be amongst nations with high regards for transparency in handling procurement demands.

Also speaking, Head Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita said the retreat has continually helped the participants in executing annual budgets with ease and their public procurement knowledge.

She said the implementation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, is a call to probity, accountability, competition, and value for money and quality in the expenditure of public funds.

She said that public funds are tailored towards the realization of key objectives of government, such as provision of utilities and infrastructure for the people.

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