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NIGERIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN UN PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES

By NBF News
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Nigerian procurement professionals have been urged to avail themselves of the opportunities in the United Nations peacekeeping procurement activities.

The Chief Procurement Officer, Peacekeeping Procurement Section, UN Secretariat, Mr. Sean Purcell, who disclosed this on Thursday during a UN procurement and vendor seminar, said the number of Nigerians currently participating in the procurement activities of the secretariat was not encouraging.

'Out of the over 7,000 vendors registered in the UN secretariat, the Nigerian companies we have as vendors are 10,' he said.

He noted that while Nigeria had consistently made substantial contributions towards the promotion and maintenance of international peace, she was yet to benefit materially from the lucrative UN procurement activities within the UN system.

He added that other countries who were actively involved in the peacekeeping effort of the UN, were taking full advantage of this, to ensure that their business communities participated fully in the UN procurement process.

Meanwhile, the ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that one of its cardinal programmes was aimed at building local entrepreneur to become global players and to also promote Nigeria's economic drive and integration.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aliyu Hong, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, said that the ministry was determined to reposition Nigerian entrepreneurs to take advantage of global opportunities.

He said, 'One of the ministry's cardinal programmes is to help reposition Nigeria's foreign policy for the benefit of the people.'

He explained that it was in the bid to close the existing gap that the Ministry decided to collaborate with the UN Secretariat Procurement Division and the Centre for Trade Practitioners to educate the business owners on the benefits of working with the UN.

He said, 'This collaboration was driven by the use of foreign policy to achieve the millennium development goals and vision 2020.'

Uhomoibhi added that the programme included the registration of Nigerian contractors and professionals to participation in the procurement of goods, works and services required by the UN Secretariat.

A former Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Gabriel Olusanya, be said that Nigeria was yet to involved in the UN peacekeeping procurement division and called on private investors to be involved in the procurement of goods and services for peacekeeping division of the UN.

Purcell said that the UN Secretariat was an open policy organisation and all the business ventures needed to do was to go through the procedure of how to do business in the with UN.

He also noted that the UN offered equal opportunity to all business owners who wanted to do business with the organisation.

Uhomoibhi said that the ministry needed to sensitise the people in the country on the benefits of procurement participation of the UN Secretariat.

Purcell therefore urged any business owner interested in doing business with the UN to visit the website and go through the brochure to really understand how to successfully complete the registration and be a registered vendor.

Uhomoibhi also emphasised that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and other bodies in charge of standardisation of products and services should ensure that Nigerian products meet international standards.