The big U-turn as ‘Senate pledges support for BPP’
The senate and indeed the National Assembly have pledged to support the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and its director-general to ensure the realization of its aims and objectives in the interest of the development of the nation’s infrastructures.This was revealed in a press release issued by the BPP today.
Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Babajide Omoworare who spoke on behalf of the Committee Chairman, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta at the special Session of the workshop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) organized by the BPP on the review of the 2012 budget said the nation should do nothing less at this crucial time of our development.
Omoworare’s comments come a week after the Senate had urged the president to inaugurate the National Council on Public Procurement.There is the general belief that the absence of the council is rendered the activities if the BPP so far illegal.That is why the pledge of support for BPP when the executive is yet to act on the position of the entire senate may come as a curious U-turn
According Omoworare’s words as captured in today’s press release: “The Senate and the National Assembly through its committee on Federal Character and Inter Governmental Affairs (the committee with the responsibility of oversight on the BPP) has resolved to support the BPP to the fullest to ensure the realization of its objectives (as contained in the BPP Act)”.
However, he added, the committee will also leave no stone unturned in ensuring that its oversight function is properly and effectively done, including but not limited to ensuring transparent bidding process, ostensible procurement procedure, accountability and judicious utilization of the nation’s wealth for accelerated development.
This, he said, is in conformity with the senate’s constitutional responsibility as provided for under Sections 4 and 88 of the country’s constitution.
According to Senator Omoworare “The BPP is enjoined to make use of international best practices, including but not limited to award contracts fairly and without discrimination; equal treatment of all potential bidders; proper scrutiny and valuation to prevent over bloated and undervalued contracts; and encouragement of indigenous contractors and the promotion of local contents for the purpose of economic prosperity for our people against profit repatriation”.
The senator stressed that one of the blights of growth, national and economic development is the existence of disconnect between yearly appropriated funds and its effect on the living conditions of poor Nigerians and this is largely due to the culture of waste and fiscal indiscipline in the nations fiscal system.
“Therefore, the BPP has great role to play in ensuring that those saddled with procurement responsibilities in the MDA’s are transparent, fair, accountable and fiscally disciplined in all sectors of our economy in general and our public procurement sector in particular”.
He expressed the hope that at the end of the workshop, a lot of explanation would have been done to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency regarding procurement and award of contracts.
“All these (are) geared towards guaranteeing the full implementation of year 2012 budget. It is instructive to note that there is a fundamental linkage between the activities of BPP and the socio-economic and infrastructural development of Nigeria.”
It must be noted that the entire senate is yet to reverse its call on the president to inaugurate the NCPP.