TETFund cautions institutions against violation of public procurement process
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), recently reiterated its commitment to the provision of quality intervention projects that will be of benefits to generations of Nigerian students and scholars.
To sufficiently achieve this goal, the Fund informed that beneficiaries of its interventions would be fully compelled to comply with the dictates of Public Procurement Process as enshrined in Section 20 (1) of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, 2007.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, who issued the directive in Kano recently, maintained that adherent to such procedures have become pertinent to ensure competitiveness, professionalism, accountability, transparency and cost effectiveness in the award of TETFund sponsored contracts.
Echono was speaking at the occasion of the opening of three days capacity building workshop on Public Procurement Process for TETFund beneficiary institutions in Kano, Kano State Capital City.
The TETFund boss reminded that Federal Government introduction of the Bureau of Public Procurement was meant to instil sanity as well as curtail malpractices in the procurement process. He added that for beneficiary institutions to take full advantage of government interventions, strict compliance to public bidding and award of contracts remain sacrosanct.
Echono stated the rationale behind the capacity building on BPP Act to address the problems of flagrant disregard of the process by some accounting officers of tertiary institutions across the country. He noted that although majority of them may have violated the guiding frameworks out of ignorance, the Fund, however, considered it necessary to partner the office of BPP to bridge the knowledge deficit gap.
He said: “As encapsulated in the mission and vision of TETFund, we are proud to be a world class interventionist agency. Accordingly, the Fund is committed to the provision of quality intervention projects that generations of Nigerians will benefit from. Therefore, we must ensure best practices are attained in the execution of intervention projects.
“By the mandate of TETFund, beneficiary institutions are expected to comply with the process of BPP for the award of contracts. Let me remind you that government developed polices to minimise open abuses of BPP standard rules, processes and procedures in the award and execution of contracts. Institutions are thereby enjoined to comply.
“While TETFund is fully conscious of the enormous task and responsibility of the Bureau, several officers of our tertiary institutions are not conversant with the reforms in the BPP Act. So, such ignorance has hindered smooth delivery and timely completion of TETFund intervention projects in tertiary institutions across the country. Hence, the workshop is to familiarise participants with the BPP.”
Earlier, the Director General, Bureau for Public Procurement, Mammam Ahmad, expressed worries over unfolding irregularities in bidding processes and award of contracts in the tertiary education institutions across the country.
Specifically, the DG, BPP frowned at institutions that deliberately avoid open tender bidding for procurement as well as weak evaluation of bidders, which often see to the emergence of unqualified bidders who are not able to deliver quality projects. He, therefore, warned that the Bureau is ready to fight culprits of the irregularities in order to change the ugly trend.
Ahmad also sounded a word of caution to accounting officers of tertiary institutions to ensure judicious management of resource and avoid bad procurement practices that could led to litigation, project abandonment, inefficiency and inflation. He stated that the essence of the BPP Act was to enhance probity, accountability, transparency as well as uphold cost effectiveness and professionalism in public procurement process in the institutions’ projects.
“The Bureau is concerned that several tertiary education institutions tent to avoid open tender in bidding for their procurement process. Also, the adoption of weak evaluation often results in unqualified bidders in the biding process eventually emerging winners of the contracts.
“Some tertiary education institutions also engage contractors to procure equipment when these contractors do not process manufacturer authorisation. These are challenges we are going to address in the retreat.
“We are here to build the efficiency of the accounting officers and other critical stakeholders in the procurement value chain. The essence is to equip the officers with vital skills that are necessary to ensure that good procurement practices are entrenched in the institutions.” Ahmed noted.
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