By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA â€“ The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement yesterday disclosed that about $590 million was saved so far from bloated contracts in the implementation of the 2009 budget by mininistries and agencies of government.
Ezeh, who was speaking to journalists during the two-weeks Sectorial Procurement Techniques Training for Public Procurement Officers in Federal Ministries, stressed that the BPP was determined to check the open abuse of rules of standards in the award and execution of public contracts in Nigeria.
He said, â€œSo far, this year alone the BPP has been able to save about $590 million dollars in the implementation of the 2009 budget, which is the difference in the amount recommended by the ministry and the amount certified by the Bureau.
He said, â€œThere had been cases where ministries and agencies of government were known to have quoted higher fees for contracts, and after reviewing such find out that the people who won the contracts got it at lower rates than was recommended.
â€œWe consider the difference to be a saving for the government because if we were not there to ensure that the contracts were reviewed, the initial commitment would have been at higher cost to government,â€ he noted.
According to him, the abuses were evident in over-invoicing, inflation of contract costs, proliferation of white elephant projects and diversion of public funds through all kinds of manipulations of the contract system.
He said, â€œThe implication of these lapses in the countryâ€™s procurement system over the years was the abandonment of government projects after large sums of money had been paid out to contractors from public funds.