OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, set up the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) to actively coordinate the activities of the bureau and enhance transparency and accountability in contracts award.
The lawmakers also asked the federal government to immediately dissolve the existing composition of the bureau as it was not properly constituted.
This was sequel to a motion of urgent national importance brought by Mr. Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa-Ibom) on Thursday.
Leading debate on the matter Mr. Idem said made reference to Section 1 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, which provides for the establishment of the National Council on Public Procurement.
He said “Section 1 (2) provides for the constitution of the National Council on Public Procurement which shall consist of the Minister of Finance as Chairman, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, the Secretary the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service of the Federation, the Economic Adviser to the President.
“The Council was also to consist of six part-time members to represent: Nigeria Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agn’eulture, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Civil Society, the Media and the Director-General of the Bureau who shall be the Secretary of the Council.
“The essence of the National Council on Public Procurement is to ensure that the Bureau of Public Procurement carries out its functions based on transparency, competition, integrity, and ensuring bets value for money. Other essence of the National Council on Public Procurement was to help check fraudulent practices in the award of public contracts through inflation of contract costs, poor project prioritization, poor budgeting process, and other manipulations of procurement and contract award processes”.
He expressed worries that “13 years after the Public Procurement Act was passed and signed into law, the National Council on Public Procurement has not been constituted thus contravening section 1 of the Public Procurement Act”.
The lawmaker decried the fact that the functions of the Procurement Council have been taken over by the Federal Executive Council, a measure that has “weakened public engagement and involvement in the procurement process being the focal point of corruption in the public service.
“It has also eroded and relegated to the background its core function of regulating the activities of the Bureau of Public Procurement responsible for monitoring and over-sighting public procurement and harmonization of existing government policies and practices.”
The motion was unanimously passed by the lawmakers when Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put the question and referred to relevant committees for further legislative input.