‘Nigeria losing 30% of budget to inept procurement officers’
Nigeria may be losing 30 percent of its annual budget to unskilled procurement officers in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
President of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN), Alhaji Ado Jubrin, disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Batch B mandatory Proficiency Development Programme in Abuja.
He noted that the lack of skilled professionals in the procurement unit had seriously damaged the nation’s economy, stressing the need to ensure that professionals handled procurement.
It is not proper that individuals trained only for two weeks are made to replace professionals that had gone for about three years of intensive training, Jibrin argued.
He called for the urgent establishment of the National Council for Procurement, to help check sharp practices in the profession and promulgate policies to resolve challenges affecting the profession.
The institute’s president pointed out that the Public Procurement Act 2007 was being partially implemented, as procurement units were established in organisations without structures to make them functional.
Registrar of the institute, Mohammed Aliya, noted that “if 30 per cent of the total budget goes into contracts, procurement, and services, it’s improper to neglect the supply chain management.
“Any nation that neglects procurement or supply chain management is neglecting the tax-payers. Procurement is all about having value for money in terms of economic development, capacity development and delivery of dividends of democracy,” he said.
North Central zonal coordinator, Abdul Mamman, however, criticised the Bureau of Procurement for over-reaching itself in decision-taking, saying the absence of a council regulating its activities had given the body liberty to take unilateral decisions that negatively impacted on the economy.
According to him, procurement is not all about construction, but a process of acquisition of goods and services, adding that it has its own delineation towards the knowledge field wherein the officers must learn how to scan through available information to get the best out of people interested in a particular procurement opportunity.
He stressed the need for procurement officers to have the competency, understanding, avowed opportunity and the knowledge area that would enable them to offer services.
The aim of the conference was to ensure compliance with existing procurement laws, as the statutory laws must be complied with before one can identify gaps to determine if the law requires amendment or not, he added.