By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
80 per cent of contractors who do business with the federal government tender forged documents, the Director -General, D-G, of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Engr .Emeka Ezeh disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday.
He was addressing a forum of contractors, consultants and service providers of federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
The DG who frowned at the ignoble practice disclosed that as many as 156 such companies were currently being prosecuted. The worst culprits were local contractors.
His words, “a lot of contractors, especially 80 per cent of the local ones are notorious for submitting fake documents when biding for contracts.
“We see all manner of fake documents such as false Tax Clearance Certificate, PenCom Certificate of Compliance, false claim of personnel, false audited account and use of fake addresses and submission of fake bank statements.
“Currently, there are 156 companies being prosecuted because of this. There is not enough space in our prisons, to accommodate all these fraudulent activities by contractors, so this has to change.”
Engr. Ezeh said the unscrupulous contractors were depriving the nation of value-for-money service.
He told the contractors that although his office would encourage local contractors to bid for public jobs, he would not do business with any fraudulent companies.
The Nigerian public, according to the BPP boss deserved the best of services and therefore urged honest contractors to come forward and participate in bidding processes, especially as the federal government was determined to ensure an effective implementation of the 2014 federal budget.
He disclosed that the federal government has established a database with which his office could easily appraise submissions and fight against corruption in contract processes and that there was no going back in the procurement reforms of the present administration.
“We started the registration of all contractors, consultants and service providers in the country as part of BPP’s drive to reform the public procurement system for better monitoring and oversight of public procurement processes in the country.
“As at April 24, 2014, 1,495 companies have started the registration process. Out of that number, only 158 have completed their registration.
“By mid- June this year, any company that is not completely registered on our database cannot do business with any government MDA,” he said.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim told the contractors that the Jonathan administration was determined to make transparency the hallmark of public procurement at the federal level.
His words, “recently, we have been witnessing controversial transactions by government agencies with contractors that do not follow due process.
“Government cannot accept a situation where public procurement become a source of frequent embarrassment.
“Apart from having a negative effect on the nation’s image, the situation also erode the confidence of the citizens on the government.
“May I therefore state that government will not hesitate to invoke all sanctions in the provisions of public procurement act of 2007 against any public officer, contractor, or consultants who contravene any provisions of the law.”