FG mulls introduction of e-procurement system in contract documentation 

The federal government has expressed its readiness to introduce electronic procurement into the federal procurement system to make contract documentation easy and effective. 

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Mamman Ahmadu, disclosed the 2022 Federal Permanent  Secretaries Procurement Retreat in Uyo on Friday.

Our Correspondent reports that the event was organized  by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the theme is ‘Strengthening Public Procurement for Optimal Effectiveness.’ 

Ahmadu said the electronic procurement system is currently being developed by the Bureau in collaboration with the World Bank, noting that10 Ministries Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) have been selected as pilot procuring entities before the full rollout of the system service-wide.

According to him, the benefits to be derived from the electronic procurement are tremendous, adding that respective ministries who be drivers of the procurement system should abreast themselves with all the information before the commencement of the system. 

“One of the areas of discussion in this Retreat is the introduction of e-procurement into the Federal Procurement system. The e-procurement system is being developed by the Bureau in collaboration with the World Bank. As the drivers of the procurement reforms in your (Permanent Secretaries) Ministries, the information must be brought to your attention before deploying it.

“Federal Permanent Secretaries are recognized as Accounting Officers in the Ministries under section 20, sub-section 1 of the Public Procurement Act 2007. This places them at the heart of the procurement process as they are liable in person for the breach or contravention of this Act or any of the regulations.

“It is of utmost importance that Permanent Secretaries are properly appraised with the fundamental principles of procurement to avoid the banana peels,” he added.

In her remark, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Essan noted that the law regulating  the public Procurement process exists to ensure  that public funds and resources are responsibly utilized to obtain value for money  spent 

Essan urged permanent Secretaries to use greater security and discretion before granting approvals for an award of a contract which must be within the approval threshold and in conformity with other extant financial regulations.

She thanked the Bureau of Public Procurement for organizing the retreat,  urging permanent secretaries to make good use of the opportunity by gathering appropriate information to help them in their job.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel said that public procurement remains an indispensable an sensitive process that must be properly managed to ensure the well-being of any economy. 

The governor, represented by his deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo noted that public procurement should reflect public concerns, efficiency, transparency, cost-effectiveness, and above all, give value for money.

He said Before the enactment of the Procurement Act, corruption in procurement, according to reports, accounted for large fractions of the government’s total budget.

“Let me, therefore, commend the collaborative efforts of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Bureau for Public Procurement in organizing this Retreat.  

“It is the expectation of Nigerians that this Retreat holding in this blessed land of promise will spur great transformation in the critical sectors of our economy and entrench due process in all procurement activities for the good of the people.

“I commend the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement and other management staff for keeping this tradition of Annual Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries to enhance strict adherence to public procurement guidelines. We are indeed excited to host you in our state,” he added.