Connect with us

Business

Understanding The Ethics Of Public Procurement

Published

on

Speech presented at the second phase of National Sensitisation and Enlightenment Programme on the Public Procurement Act 2007 In Port Harcourt

This sensitisation season marks another phase of our efforts at creating awareness amongst the citizenry on the principles and importance of public procurement. We made progress in this regard last year and we are continuing this year. It is important to continue to tell our people what we need to gain by following procedures in public contracting, so that we can make the much desired social, economic and political progress. I am optimistic, like I do know many of you are that we shall sooner than later take Nigeria to the promised land.

Let me, however, tell again how we got to where we are, so that we can understand the present and probably interpret the future. The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) was established in 2007 following the signing into law of its enabling act by President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. It was the first act to be signed into law by the new president. The Bureau developed through the former office of Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU), established in 2001 by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The bureau emerged because of the need to check the open abuse of rules and standards in the award and execution of public contracts in Nigeria. The abuses were evident in over-invoicing, inflation of contract costs, proliferation of white-elephant projects and diversion of public funds through all kinds of manipulations of the contract system. The implication of these lapses in the country’s procurement system over the years was the abandonment of governments projects after large sums of money have been paid out to contractors from public funds. Above all, it brought about endemic corruption, poor service delivery, poverty and denial of social amenities to the people.

The vision of the BPP is to restore transparency, competition, competence, integrity and value for money in the award and execution of public contracts in Nigeria. The BPP, therefore, implements a Procurement Reform Agenda that uses what can be called a Due Process Mechanism to restore and maintain openness, competition, budgetary discipline, optimal costs and efficient projects implementation in a planned and coordinated framework.

The BPP has long being involved in several sensitisation efforts across the country. With the support of the WorId Bank Economic Reform and Governance (ERGP) project, the bureau, has been educating the Nigerian populace on the importance of implementing best procurement practices. There have been and would continue to be newspaper adverts, journal publications, Radio and TV jingles on the activities of the bureau and on details of the public procurement act. The bureau has also been organising conferences so the nation can expand their understanding of the ethics of public procurement. One such conference, an international one, was recently held between June 29th and 30th in Abuja. It was attended by resource persons from across sections of the world and it afforded us an opportunity to compare notes with other countries, so that we can benefit from their procurement experiences and they might also gain from us. The sensitisation, education and public awareness processes are continuing in the interest of establishing best procurement practices consciousness amongst the citizenry. This would eventually lead to a change in attitude and then an attendant development of the countries’ institutions.

For the bureau to achieve its objectives, it has been consistent in insisting on the need for probity, transparency and accountability within its management. The leadership has often emphasised the need to show example by ensuring that what is preached is implemented in the bureau. The bureau’s officials have often been educated on the need not to compromise their integrity in the course of their duties. The bureau hopes to achieve its aim through ensuring forthrightness in its activities and through constant training and retraining of its staff.

As a new policy, the implementation of the Procurement reforms has continued to generate fears, debates and concerns in some quarters. Experience has showed that there are some elites who have a good understanding of what the bureau stands for and are, therefore, ready to help it work. There are also those who genuinely do not understand its modus operandi, which is why the bureau has been painstaking in sensitisation and in creating awareness.

At the same time, there are beneficiaries of the old order, who understands the multiple benefits of the public procurement reform policy but deliberately and out of self and narrow interest, choose to misinform, misrepresent, vilify and condemn the genuine intentions of government with the goal of frustrating the idea. Some politicians are also unrelenting in trying to prevent the proper operations of the bureau, but we have been sustained by the determination of the President Umar Yar’Adua’s anti-­corruption stand and are assured of the need to steady our gait in falling in line.

The bureau has commenced its constitutional responsibility to ensure that all the provisions of the Public Procurement Act are strictly followed in the award and execution of all government contracts. Intensive public enlightenment campaigns on procedures in contract award and execution by MDAs and the role of stakeholders including contractors, consultants and, the general public are ongoing through the BPP jingles on radio and television stations. The bureau’s audit monitoring of the budget as constitutionally guaranteed, is also ongoing as part of a holistic attempt at ensuring a successful fiscal policy.

Other than that, the bureau is presently organising workshops for stakeholders in different government ministries and departments. The first was held July 27th and 28th for procurement personnel in the Federal Ministry of Works and- Housing. It is continuing as it would also be done for other ministries. Once again, I welcome us all and wish us all successful interactive session.

Eze is the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

Nembe Oil Spill From Aiteo Facility Worst I’ve Seen – Diri

Published

on

The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday returned from visiting the oil spill site in Nembe Local Government Area of the state, describing it as the worst he had seen in his lifetime.
The OML 29 Well 1 platform, which is operated by Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil firm, Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited, has been spilling crude unabated into the Santa Barbara River for about one month.
An estimated two million barrels of crude has reportedly been spilled into the river, polluting the flora and fauna of the area, the governor’s spokesperson Dan Alabrah, said.
The Minister of State of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, had said the scene of the spill was like a war zone.
Overwhelmed by the spill, Aiteo hired Halliburton’s Boots and Coots to “kill the well” by injecting cement into it. It bought the well from the Royal Dutch Shell in 2015.
As at Wednesday, the Bayelsa government said the spill that began November 5 was still ongoing.
Governor Diri said the continuous spillage has further endangered the lives of people of Nembe, Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Alabrah, the governor, who expressed shock over the quantity of crude that has been spilled into the environment, called on the Federal Government and operators of the oil field to immediately take action to stop it.
According to him, the prolonged oil spill into the water and air had an immediate and long term effect on the health of the inhabitants.
While assuring the people that appropriate measures would be taken to seek redress, he noted that the quest by oil firms to make money would not be at the expense of the lives of the people.
Describing fishing as the source of livelihood of the people of the area, Mr Diri noted that just as there are grazing routes, Bayelsa State has fishing routes and must be protected.
His words: “Today happens to be a very dark day for me. What we have seen, I believe, is worse than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. In all my life, I have not seen such magnitude of oil spillage.
“Our people are endangered. Our people’s source of livelihood is endangered. I empathise and sympathise with the people of Nembe on behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State.
The Bayelsa governor also decried the exclusion of indigenes of host communities in the running of the oil industry, saying that if indigenes were part of the operations of the oil field, they would have looked for ways to address the problem.
To ameliorate the suffering of the people, the governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health to immediately provide relief materials and healthcare services to the people.
Earlier, the chairman of Nembe Local Government Area, Hon. West Alalibo, and member representing Nembe Constituency 2 in the State House of Assembly, Edward Brigidi, appreciated the governor for embarking on an on-the-spot assessment visit to the site.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

‘Emerging Challenges May Frustrate Dev Of Gas Resources’

Published

on

Although the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is expected to unlock gas potential in Nigeria, especially the current 206 trillion standard cubic feet proven reserves, stakeholders Wednesday said the goals might remain elusive.
Investment to unlock the series of the opportunities outlined by the country according to the stakeholders, may remain a daunting task amidst heavy levies on the sector, domestic gas pricing challenges as well as lack of necessary technology and skills set.
Coming as the price of natural gas Wednesday, tumbled further to $4.4 per MMBtu after rising close to $7, the stakeholders at the 10th Practical Nigerian Content Forum stated that without the right environment, Nigeria may miss out of the window of opportunities available through the energy transition phase.
The Senate Chairman, Local Content, Teslim Folarin at the event also insisted that the cross-sectorial local bill in the National Assembly would make existing executive orders on patronage of Nigeria goods and services a law across sectors of the economy, stressing that it won’t however scrap the NOGIC Act.
With the current high price of cooking gas, the inadequacies of gas to power plants, the experts noted that data challenges, legal framework, lack of collaboration, weak research and development, lack of technology, imposition of taxes on the gas value chain lay heavy siege to the country’s aspirations in the gas revolution.
Group Executive Director, Gas and Power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Abdulkadir Ahmed, insisted that declining funding for fossil fuels would create challenges for existing gas resources in the country, stressing that the sector must devise a means to fund projects and also produce more with cost.
Ahmed was also concerned about the infrastructure that transports and ensures utilisation of gas, adding that a transparent and market-driven pricing remained sacrosanct.
“We can not make progress without a market-driven and transparent gas price. No one will put in money if they have no feasibility of how they will recover their cost. There won’t be any gas to process if we do not invest in upstream activities,” he said.
Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, Ed Ubong stated that there was a need to build local capacity for gas and ensure that the resources are used to spur industrial development.
According to him, there was a need to support indigenous companies to thrive, adding that the gas space remained a key avenue to grow local content.
A Governing Council Member at Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mina Oforiokuma said with progress being made by countries like Mozambique, Nigeria needs to learn and move fast to address bottlenecks.
Speaking on the expansion of local content across sectors, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote noted that the government may consider a local content department across ministries to develop.
Wabote said: “That’s the only way you can get benefit out of the implementation because what people forget is that NCDMB is like a department within the ministry of petroleum resources saddled with the responsibility of driving local content within the oil and gas industry and controlled by the Ministry in the same way.”
Senator Folarin noted that the government remained concerned about the development of indigenous companies, adding that the move would address inefficiencies, in the long run reduce cost of projects and build strong local companies that can compete globally.
He revealed that some of the key sectors that would be primarily targeted are power, ICT, manufacturing, agriculture and others.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

PHCCIMA Boss Lists Core Service Areas

Published

on

The 62nd President of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Sir Mike Elechi said his administration shall have member oriented,  inclusive programmes and opportunities as its hallmark and guiding principles.
Elechi said this during his investiture as the PHCCIMA President in Port Harcourt during the week.
He also listed  consolidation of growth, peace, unity,  increased scope of programme dispensation and internally generated revenue as part of his core mandate to be delivered to the people.
He said that these would be achieved within the confines of PHCCIMA’s constitution and that of the Country.
The President who was  a  permanent secretary before his retirement,  pointed out that the choice of the key areas was as a result of deep reflection and wide consultation with relevant stakeholders in the society.
He said that his administration would reintroduce the monthly PHCCIMA meeting, develope a calendar of member oriented programmes and opportunities as well as trade mission travels and access for the benefit of its members.
On the issue of increased scope of programme dispensation and internally generated revenue, he said that  it would be realised by creating an atmosphere of welcome and corporate opportunity.
“Another way out among others, was engagement of various governments both state and local, with business strategies especially non oil businesses”, he said.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion,  Chief Ferdinand Anabrabra, urged those that are yet to be registered with PHCCIMA to hurry and do so in order to meet up with the current speed of the organisation.
Anabrabra, anchored his point on the passion that the new President and his team have for the body, which will definitely pay off.
Also speaking, the former President of Nigerian Bar Association ( NBA), Hon Onueze C.J . Okocha,  said that Elechi’s whealt of experience would  enable him  do the expected.
”As a career Civil Servant and a successful businessman cum Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Vintage Farm and Products in ElelIkwerre Local Government of the state, his administration would be successful.
The Tide gathered that the Elechi-led PHCCIMA executive would elapse in the next three years.

By: King Onunwor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending