The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate an alleged indiscriminate issuance of Certificate of No Objection by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Peter Akpanke (PDP-Cross River) at plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion, Akpanke said that by the provisions of sections 6(1)(c) and 16(1)(b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, the BPP was authorised to issue a certificate of no objection to contracts awarded by relevant procurement entities.
He said that the powers vested in the Bureau were aimed at ensuring that the letters and spirit of the Public Procurement Act were complied with.
“It is also to ensure that the government gets value for money, contracts awarded are within relevant thresholds backed by budgetary allocation.
“The Bureau of Public Procurement has failed to comply with the mandatory post– procurement audit as required by Section 5(p) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
“The Bureau has consistently engaged in under-hand dealings in the grant of “Certificate of no Objection,” thus abusing the power to make pecuniary gains and increasing incidences of abandoned and failed projects across the country,” he said.
Akpanke said that such gross abuses and violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 had been exasperated by the recent increase in arbitrary nomination to procuring entities of winners for tendering processes.
He said there were cases where the procuring entity declined, and the process is interjected and frustrated in bad faith and for flimsy reasons.
“If urgent steps are not taken to investigate the allegations and address any proven infractions, the BPP is likely to transform itself from a regulator to a disruptor and eventually endanger the entire public procurement system,” he said.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the House Committee on Public Procurement to investigate and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
He also mandated the committee to consider the biannual reports submitted in the last six years and make its findings known to the public.