Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said that the National Assembly would soon begin a review of the Public Procurement Act to bring it in tandem with current realities. Lawan said the Public Procurement Act, as it is, frustrated the processes of contract awards and execution which, he said, should not be allowed to continue.
Speaking during a visit by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, the Senate President said the National Assembly would do its best to address all the loopholes in the Procurement Act. He lamented that the cost of executing projects in Nigeria was usually one of the highest in the world, saying the situation must change in the face of scarce resources. “The Public Procurement (Act) in Nigeria as far as I can see is not the best in the world.
The Public Procurement must be reviewed and amended. We must see how we can make it more practical and holistic within the shortest possible time. “From the stage of bidding to mobilization, the costing of any government contracts must be uniform in order to avoid imbalances and embarrassment in the processes.
“A situation where about 20 agencies of government buy the same brand of vehicles at grossly different prices is not good. Market prices must be determined and adhered strictly to in ensuring that Nigerians are not short-changed through abuse of processes or over-invoicing.
“Even the 15% mobilisation fee specified in the Act by realities on ground is more of demobilising contractors than mobilising them with attendant loopholes for fraudulent practices,” he said. He said the yet-to-be constituted Public Procurement Committee of the 9th Senate would be very strong so that members of the panel would do the needful when the time came.
SGF Mustapha had earlier expressed hope that the 9th National Assembly started on a vibrant mood, calling on the lawmakers to work for the interest of the country at all times. He said members of the National Assembly should continue to ensure a good working relationship with other arms of government for Nigerians to get the best of the current administration.