Nigeria 'held back by buying rules'

12 January 2010

12 January 2010 | Jake Kanter

Public procurement rules in Nigeria must be abolished if the country is to become a leading economy, a government official is reported to have said.

Farouk Sani, coordinator of the Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center – an agency that manages private finance initiative schemes on behalf of the Nigerian government – told local media the Public Procurement Act was hampering the search for investors for key building projects.

According to African news websites, he argued the rules added bureaucracy and time to the process of choosing suitable finance partners and did not guarantee the best outcome. This, he argued, was jeopardising the country’s Vision 2020, a government aim to make Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world.

“There is no society that is desperate for infrastructural development that can use the Public Procurement Act as a catalyst for solution,” he said.

“If you go to the UK, they can afford to use such an act because they have advanced infrastructure, the US can afford to use it because they have developed infrastructure – but countries that are yearning for infrastructural development cannot use it.”

Sani believes the purchasing rules should be scrapped in favour of strengthening anti-corruption agencies and freedom of information procedures.

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