Senate to probe alleged corrupt practices in BPP
• Endorses postal services reform bill
• Passes bill on retirement savings for pensioners
The Senate has resolved to carry out a comprehensive investigation on what it called monumental corruption in the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP). It alleged that the BPP was in deep collaboration with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government in corruption, adding that the alleged collaboration with all the agencies and private contractors had led to the inflation of contracts to the detriment of the Federal Government.
To this end, it has mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the allegation and report back to it in five weeks. Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over yesterday’s legislative business, vowed that the committee would get to the root of the issues raised.
According to the sponsor of the motion, Senator Dino Melaye, the BPP has reneged in its duty. He said BPP does not perform or conduct mandatory post-procurement audit.
He also alleged that it corruptly issues certificates of no objection. Senator Shehu Sani, while contributing, urged his colleagues to clean up the system. He claimed that civil servants now execute contracts for the government.
In the same vein, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to beam its searchlights on the BPP for allegedly failing to exercise its mandate as prescribed by law.
The House at the plenary session presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara mandated its Committees on Public Procurement and Anti-Corruption to ascertain the level of complacency of the BPP and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
In another development, the Senate has endorsed the move to carry out serious reform in the moribund postal sector. At its plenary yesterday, it considered a bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Postal Service Act 2004 and re-enact a fresh bill that would provide for comprehensive reform in that sector.
The bill passed the second reading and was referred to the Senate Committee on Communication for further legislative processing. The upper legislative chamber also passed for second reading a bill that would henceforth make it easy for pensioners in the country to access their retirement savings after service with a view to making lives bearable for them.
Aliyu Magatakadda Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North), who sponsored the bill, said none of his colleagues can claim ignorance of the long-drawn-out anguish of retirees from the civil service, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), universities and parastatals, among other federal agencies.
He, therefore, urged the upper legislative chamber to use its legislative powers to save the retirees from their protracted sufferings.
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