By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—Immediate past Director-General of Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Emeka Eze, told the Senate, yesterday that the number of government projects currently abandoned across the country stood at 19,000.
He said that besides duplication of office buildings, personnel and overhead cost, there was the tendency for each agency of government to assert its authority in the procurement process.
Eze, who spoke at a one- day public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Procurement to amend the Public Procurement Act 2007 to provide for and adopt a local content policy and timely completion of procurement processes, told the lawmakers that abandonment of the projects occurred mainly because of non-payment for interim certificates for work done.
He said if there must be efficient service delivery among the agencies of government involved in procurement and disposal of public assets, the Federal Government should merge the BPP; Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE, and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, into one strong commission, in line with global best practices.
Ezeh said: “It is my humble opinion that now that the nation’s resources are dwindling, the right thing to do is for the legislature to be courageous enough and merge all the three agencies involved in procurement and disposal of public assets into a strong commission. I want to assure that the nation will be better for it if BPE, BPP and ICRC are merged.’’
Also yesterday at the hearing, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, in its presentation by the National President, Mrs. Mercy T. Iyortyer, called for the synchronization of project funding with project cycle as that would help avoid project abandonment and ensure continuity of projects until they were completed.
Iyortyer, who presented the institute’s proposed amendments to the Procurement Act, explained that the proposed synchronization could be achieved by means of medium-term approach to project planning and budgeting.