By Kenneth Ehigiator
LAGOS – Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Engr. Emeka Ezeh, yesterday, identified National Assembly’s late passage of the country’s annual budget as a major factor militating against effective procurement policy in Nigeria.
Ezeh, who made the observation as guest speaker at the 3rd European Union Business Meeting in Lagos, also highlighted absence of procurement plans in most ministries as a cog in the implementation of procurement policy.
He said the recurring late approval of the nation’s annual budget would make nonsense of the Public Procurement Act unless the lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly ensured speedy passage of budgets.
According to him, the situation where budgets are passed into law months after they were supposed to be in full implementation, makes enforcement of the procurement policy difficult.
Ezeh noted that most federal ministries lacked procurement plans, adding that those in charge of running the affairs of such ministries based procurement on their whims and caprices.
These, according to him, make corruption to thrive, especially as their associates and acolytes are those favoured with government contracts.
Eze said: “Let me also state that the abandonment of procurement process, if the preferred contractor is unsuccessful, is a major challenge to us at BPP.”
He said to ensure effective procurement policy, the Federal Government must demonstrate sufficient political will so that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, would have little to do.
“There is need for strong support for the BPP if the international community is serious about helping Nigeria fight corruption,” Ezeh told the EU representatives.