Sustainable development achievable through efficient policy frameworks, says Oyo-Ita

Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita

Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, said on Saturday in Abuja that efficient public procurement policy and strategies were critical to the nation’s sustainable development.

Oyo-Ita said this at the opening of a retreat organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for its staff.

The Head of Service, who was represented by the Head of Procurement, Mr Akindele Oyefeso, said the theme of the retreat, “Government Policy Formulation/Strategy and Sustainable Development’,’ was apt now in the life of the nation.

“Mere developments are not enough; societies must go for sustainable development if the earlier joy is not to turn to later misery, or the blessing to become a curse.’’

She commended the Bureau for the retreat, saying it is a very healthy thing to do.

According to Oyo-Ita, her office acknowledges the BPP’s efforts to ensure that the culture of due process had root in public procurement.

She said:“We share your belief that transparency, efficiency, fairness and value for money are the inalienable fundamental principles of sound public procurement.

“We promise to be by your side every inch of the way as you journey to entrench these principles in our nation’s public procurement system.

“For if we get it right in our public procurement, we will get it right as a nation.’’

A former Special Adviser to the President on Due Process, Prof. Kunle Wahab, said Sections 5 and 6 of the Public Procurement Act 2007, which highlight the functions and powers of the bureau, should be reviewed.

Wahab also urged the Bureau to examine the various complaints of those affected by the operations of the Act and proffer remedies where necessary.

“The time has come for you to note and examine the negative perceptions of the stakeholders and the general public and correct these where necessary.’’

Wahab said the bureau was indeed living up to expectations and urged it to develop guidelines for the procurement process in education, health, judiciary, military and the National Assembly.

He also encouraged the bureau to source research grants in different areas of public procurement that might be made available to universities to improve the system.

He recommended that branches of the bureau should be established in the geo-political zones to achieve its set goals and objectives.

The BPP Acting Director-General, Mr Ahmed Abdu, said the aim of the retreat was to reorientate the staff on the expectations and policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He said this would remind them of their roles in the effort to reform public procurement to move the nation forward.

“Retreats are platforms for creating awareness and the BPP’s retreat seeks to create awareness in reforming the country’s procurement processes.”

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