HoSF Reiterates Professionalism, Due Diligence In Public Procurement

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  • Photo: Dr Yemi-Esan*
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By Mohammed A. Ahmed, 
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi- Esan has reiterated the need for professionalism, compliance with best practices and the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), 2007.She stated this at the Opening Ceremony of a 2- Day Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries, Accountant – General of the Federation (AGoF) and the Auditor General for the Federation (AGfF), an annual event, with the theme “Strengthening Public Procurement for Optimal Effectiveness.”  The Retreat, which is being organized by the Bureau of Public Procurement, in collaboration with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, is taking place in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State and expected to end tomorrow, Saturday, May 28,2022.     

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  Dr. Yemi- Esan reminded the Participants that “Public Procurement is a major function of Government and that the law regulating it, in Nigeria, exists to ensure that public funds and resources are responsibly utilised with the objective of obtaining value for money being spent.” She drumed on the dire need for discouraging touting and encouraging Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), in order to promote local content, curb capital flight and grow the economy, citing Executive Order 11(E. O. 11), Maintenance of National Public Buildings, which directly tied maintenance with our economy. She, therefore, calls for the alignment of the E. O.11 with the PPA.The Head of Service of the Federation also disclosed that, in line with Capacity Building and Talent Management, as well as Performance Management being vital pillars of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 2021-2025, demonstrable commitment in addressing capacity gaps of all Officers involved in the procurement cycle, must be shown through frequent and adequate training, retraining, tooling and retooling and performance assessment.                     

Dr. Yemi – Esan advised the Chief Accounting Officers to exercise greater scrutiny and discretion prior to granting approvals for the award of contracts, which must be within the approved thresholds and in total conformity with other extant financial instruments. The Executive Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, commended the OHCSF and BPP for keeping with tradition of the Annual Retreat, aimed at ensuring strict adherence to public procurement processes.His Excellency viewed Public Procurement as an indispensable and sensitive tool that must be properly deployed for the betterment of any economy. It must reflect public concerns, efficiency, transparency, cost effectiveness and above all, give value for money expended.

The Executive Governor added that prior to the signing of the Public Procurement Act, in 2007, corruption in public procurement, according to reports, accounted for sizeable fractions of government’s total spendings. This was  perpetuated by some self- centered Public Officers, who exploited the absence of a functional legislation and enforcement structure to orchestrate it, which, according to him, grossly affected the efficiency of public expenditure and the opportunity to improve the economy, as well as impact on the lives of Nigerians, positively.His Excellency further disclosed that in Akwa-Ibom State, his Administration had effectively domesticated a regulated procurement culture, when the State House of Assembly passed the Akwa Ibom State Public Procurement Law for assent, in July, 2020. The law has since had a measurable and positive impact on the economy of the State by streaming lining the  procurement of goods, public works and services, likewise the disposal of goods and assets.

He informed the participants that  enforcement of this single piece of legislation had been the major reason for an upsurge in the infrastructural development of the State in the last lap of his Administration.                 

 In a Goodwill Message, delivered on his behalf, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement, Distinguished Senator Bwacha Emmanuel, identified with the theme, stressing that it is quite apt and in tandem with the principle of good governance.He urged the participants  to critically re- examine all provisions of the PPA that need to be amended for the urgent attention of the National Assembly.According to him, “the Retreat will give us the opportunity to robustly x-ray the Public Procurement Processes, in order to find ways and methods to strengthen them for optimal effectiveness without compromising due process.”   

* Mohammed A. Ahmed is Deputy Director  (Communications), OFFICE OF THE HEAD  OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE  FEDERATION.

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