Nigerian president cracks down on corruption

27 July 2011

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27 July 2011 | Angeline Albert

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.”

He 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.

The 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 years ago.

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