Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has hinted of a possible review of the 2007 Public Procurement Act.
Lawan, while receiving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha in Abuja, said loopholes embedded in the Act makes the legislation open to abuse and manipulation for corrupt practices.
Indeed, Lawan thinks that the Act was not only capable of promoting corruption but also hinders speedy project implementation in the country. On these premise, he said the upper chamber would carry out a holistic review of the Act as part of measures to sanitise the process of contract award and execution.
The Act as presently framed, is frustrating as far as contract award and execution are concerned, he argued and submitted that a holistic review and amendment of the Act has become necessary to streamline the processes of contract award and execution in the country.
“Public procurement in Nigeria as far as I can see is not the best in the world. It 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 mobilisation, the cost of government contracts must be uniform in order to avoid imbalance 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 ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged through abuse of processes or over invoicing.
“Even the 15 percent mobilisation fee specified in the Act by realities on ground is more of demobilising contractors than mobilising them with attendant loopholes for fraudulent practices.”
The Senate president commended the SGF for bringing cordiality to the executive and legislature.
The SGF lauded Lawan for starting on what he described as a vibrant mood even as he noted that the Nigerian project is of great importance to the present administration. He also urged legislators to continue to strengthen ties with other arms of government in order to achieve the targets of the Buhari’s administration in good time.
He appealed to senators to always put the nation first, promising that the executive arm is determined to ensure a successful tenure of office for the leadership of the National Assembly and other members.
The Senate, he said, has a role to play in ensuring the success of President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade.