APBN tasks government to check corruption in procurement implementation
Given the high level of corruption in Nigeria’s public procurement, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), has called on the Federal Government to inaugurate a national council on public procurement to address the menace.
The immediate past president, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN), Muhammed Aliyu, also argued that putting square pegs in square holes would go a long way in reducing the level of corruption in public procurement if competent professionals are saddled with the responsibility.
The high level of corruption in the public sector, especially in the procurement process, has been identified as one of the major angst to economic growth. This is because the procurement system deals with the sourcing of activities, negotiation and strategic selection of required goods and services through tender or competitive bidding. However, such processes are often manipulated at the expence of the masses, while a few enjoy most of the benefits.
Against this backdrop, Aliyu said the professional bodies have been meeting to seek possible ways to enable Nigeria exit current economic woes, stressing that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has failed to deliver its core objectives due to lack of competent personnel and expertise to deliver its mandate.
While expressing the association’s dissatisfaction about its inability to transform the fortunes of a nation, he said: “If professionals are allowed to do their jobs, Nigeria would not have found itself where it is now. The National Council on Public Procurement has not been inaugurated. Our plea is that the Federal Government must do the right thing. We are now trying to come out with more superior knowledge on advising government on the right thing to do.
“This is why we have continued to advise the government to saddle the responsibility with competent people trained in that area, because we have found out that about 80 to 90 per cent of the budget goes into contract and provision of services and this is where you need core competence to achieve positive results.”
According to him, years when the military took mantle of leadership, so many policies were jettisoned while things only got worse when politicians that were supposed to revisit implementation of these policies failed to do so.
“Professionals have been able to identify problems faced in the society and if laid down rules and procedures are followed, things would not have been so hard for Nigerians.”
Recall that the CIPSMN had advised the managers of the Nigerian economy to ensure that due diligence is followed when making professional appointments, stating that this is why procurement services is in its current deplorable state.
“BPP is weak and we are ready to train people to become professionals in procurement services. Procurement professionals prevent corruption at no cost and it is better not to fight corruption because it is very expensive to combat. We believe the present administration has the political will to change the weak nature of the industry,” he added.
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