The Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative (PRADIN), a select group of non state actors working in the area of transparent procurement process, has supported the House of Representatives unanimous resolution recently calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) in pursuance of Section 1 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007.
Mohammed B Attah, national coordinator and Barr. Ayo Adebusoye, national secretary of PRADIN said in a statement that the various allegations during the investigative hearing on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC) at the National Assembly over the last few weeks where N81.5 Billion was spent on “frivolous things” from January to May this year and “In seven months in 2019, a total of 1,921 so-called ‘emergency contracts’ valued at N1.07 trillion were a direct result of this continuing breach of the provisions of the PPA.
“The establishment of the NCPP is central to fighting corruption in Nigeria” says the National Coordinator of PRADIN, Mohammed Bougei Attah, “as the Council has the principal responsibility to sanitize the public sector through full application of the law.”
PRADIN also asserted that multiple breaches of the Act by NDDC and other MDAs would have been prevented if the regulatory body – the NCPP – had been constituted. These breaches were further revealed by the NDDC Contract Verification Committee and they include ‘awards which were not only spurious, but criminal as records available… show that most of the awards were not backed by budget, have no bills of engineering measurement or drawings and were just open cheque for contractors and their collaborators to fill in at the nearest banks.”
According to the statement, further criminal breaches of the PPA include allegations of administrative interference, contracts grabbing and splitting among others.
“These unfolding criminal infractions are a direct consequence of the failure of the President to Constitute and inaugurate the NCPP despite repeated calls by PRADIN and the National Assembly over the years, while the Federal Executive Council, FEC, under the leadership of the president, continues to engage in the the approval of contracts awarded illegally by the MDAs. .
“The ongoing revelations of trillions of Naira of taxpayers money being wasted through noncompliance with the PPA show clearly why the PPA provides for the establishment of the NCPP, and the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, as the regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring, and oversight of public procurement practices in the country,” PRADIN said.
The group there argued that “The President must act NOW and inaugurate the NCPP thirteen years after the enactment of the PPA and stop the continuing illegality of our public procurement process with the attendant consequences of corruption, waste of resources, crippling poverty and underdevelopment of an entire region which produces 80 percent of the country’s foreign exchange.
“As research has shown that public procurement account for over 70% of total corruption in MDAs, the inauguration of the NCPP would be a lasting legacy of the President and of prime importance if this administration is actually determined to fight corruption and lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” PRADIN said.