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Procurement reforms saved FG N58bn in 2013 - BPP

By The Citizen
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The Bureau of Public Procurement has said it saved the nation about N58bn through the review of contracts for capital projects last year.

The Director-General, BPP, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, said this in Lagos on Friday at the annual retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries.

According to his address,  which was made available to our correspondent on Sunday, Ezeh said the savings arose from the successful review of 184 contracts across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.

Ezeh said out of 308 projects for which requests were made in the sum of N1.69tn, the agency considered 184 valued at N1.18tn, and granted certificates of no objection for projects worth N1.12tn, thus resulting in total savings of N58bn.

The BPE had said in 2012 that procurement reforms it embarked upon had saved the nation about N350bn since 2007, when the Public Procurement Act became a law.

Ezeh acknowledged that members of the public often accused public servants of being impediments to the implementation of government policies.

He said, 'Contract agreements have, during the year, continued to take months to execute, while invoices/interim valuation certificates are left unpaid even when funds are available. The complaints are many.

'At the heart of a transparent public procurement practice is effective service delivery. Therefore, this retreat is meant for us to ponder over these and other lapses observed in 2013 and find ways of eliminating them because your constitutional roles as the engine of growth are so crucial to the development of this nation and you cannot afford to fail.'

Ezeh said the 2013 round of procurement audits revealed some cases of non-compliance with the Public Procurement Act, adding that the criminal aspects of the breaches had been referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for further investigation and possible prosecution.

According to him, under the PPA 2007, permanent secretaries are the accounting officers of the MDAs and are, therefore, critical to the implementation of the ongoing reform of the public procurement system.