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Service Chiefs, IGP, others shun Senate’s public hearing on Procurement Act



Senate Committee on Public Procurement has condemned in strong terms the shunning of its Public Hearing on Public Procurement Act, PPA by the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Attorney General of the Federation, among others.

This is as the Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Mamman Ahmadu picked holes in some of the proposed amendments, the Senate put forward at the public hearing.

The committee had on the strength of consolidated bills seeking for amendments of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and adopted by the Senate last week Tuesday, invited critical stakeholders in the public sector for a one day public hearing on series of amendments being sought.

But at the public hearing aside the office of the BPP, led by its Director General, Mamman Ahmadu and immediate past Director General, Engr. Emeka Ezeh, heads of other relevant government agencies were absent.

Those announced to have absented themselves from the session were the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police,; Mohammed Adamu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed etc.

Irked by the development after the roll call, chairman of the committee, Senator Shuaibu Lau (PDP Taraba North), said the absence of the affected heads of public establishments was discouraging.

“This committee is not happy with the absence of the critical stakeholders already identified.

“We are strongly expressing our displeasure on their conducts because after being formally invited, they not only absented themselves from this very important public hearing session but not forwarded any written submission on areas of proposed amendments on the Act.

“We are definitely not happy with them because the Act being amended is very critical to all , requiring inputs of all and sundry operating it or being regulated by it,” he said.

However, in his submission at the session, the Director General of BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, picked holes in five different areas of the proposed amendments.

One of them is the administrative function the proposed amendment seeks to confer on the National Council on Public Procurement which he said is against global practices.

He said: “It appears that the draft amendment seeks to confer administrative functions to the National Council on Public Procurement.

“This proposal ls fundamentally against the global principle of corporate governance which prohibits councils/boards from participating in day-to-day activities agencies/organisations that they supervise.

“The Public Procurement Act, 2007 was patterned after the United Nations Commercial International Trade Law, UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, which Is one of the most globally accepted public procurement model law.

“However, the proposed amendments to the PPA 2007 is In direct conflict with some basic principles of the UNCITRAL model Law particularly the proposal that advertisements should be for 2 weeks for National Competitive Bidding and 4 Weeks for International Competitive Bidd|ng.

“The UNCITRAL recommends 4 to 8 weeks for advertisement to enable bidders prepare their tenders properly.

“The proposal to extend the functions of procurement departments in the procuring entities to include monitoring of projects is not correct.

“The proposal that investigations of procurement related cases should be forwarded to the council may compromise the outcome of such investigations.”

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