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27 July 2011 | Angeline
There will be ‘no sacred
cows’ when it comes to punishing those who break procurement rules in Nigeria.
That was the warning given to
public sector workers by the country’s president Goodluck Jonathan, speaking at
the country’s fourth National Procurement Forum in the capital Lagos this week.
He told contractors, prospective
suppliers and government officials, who had gathered to discuss public
purchasing challenges, that there would be no hiding place for those who
flouted the Public Procurement Act.
“There will be no sacred cows
for any infractions, especially by those responsible for budget implementation
at the federal level. While this forum is another opportunity to think of ways
of reducing delays in the procurement cycle, the integrity of the process must
not be compromised,” he told delegates.
“I urge the Bureau [of Public Procurement] to remain fair, firm and
resolute and resist any form of intimidation or inducement in its resolve to
enthrone a procurement regime that is open, competitive and cost-efficient, and
delivers value for money.”
highlighted a host of corrupt practices that are currently taking place,
including manipulation of the
pre-qualification process, a disregard for bidding and payment regulations,
corrupt officials, intimidation of purchasers by suppliers, collusion between
civil servants and contractors and even cases of suppliers abandoning projects
after receiving advance payments.
president urged all public officials to study the Public Procurement Act, which
came into force in 2007, and ensure it is applied.
The goal of the National Procurement Forum is to bring together politicians,
public sector buyers, potential vendors and civil society organisations to
discuss the issues affecting public purchasing. The first forum was held 10