By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN), says Nigeria can only develop and fight corruption if procurement professionals are engaged.
President of the Institute, Ado Jubrin said in Abuja on Monday that hence, about 60 per cent of the Federal Government’s budget execution was based on procurement, corruption could not be fought if professionals were not engaged.
Jubrin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that there was the need for strict compliance with the procurement Act.
Speaking on the sideline of the induction of fellows and members into the Chartered Institute, he said utilising professionals such as the ones that had been inducted, would ensure more prudence in the system.
“There is the need for actual professionalism to be in place. There is the need for strict compliance with the Act and ensure the use of professionals who will work within the system.
“If it is practiced, procurement Act will bring more prudence to the system.
“But if you look at the level of fraud in the country, it is always in the area of procurement. The government spends 60 to 70 per cent of its budget on procurement.
“Once you cannot tackle the problem of procurement, you have not done anything.
“The cause of the problem in Nigeria is non-compliance with the actual professionalism in the system. This professionalism can only be attained by those who have been trained to carry out the activities,” he said.
Also speaking, Registrar of the Institute, Mr Mohammed Aliyu said that procurement was closely linked to development, saying that effective development was only possible with efficient procurement.
According to him, procurement is a vital element in every field, from health to education and without sound procurement system, hospitals will wait for drugs, teachers for textbooks, and cities for roads.
“Whenever a news item surfaces about drugs shortages in hospitals, schools without textbooks or failing road networks, the reader may be looking at a procurement problem.
“Without efficient procurement, money gets wasted on a very large scale. Many developing countries channel significant proportions of their budgets through the procurement system, even marginal savings can add up very fast.
“Public procurement is a part of the government that citizens see every day. Lack of transparency and corruption in procurement directly affects development, citizens, and the losses to corruption are so enormous,” he said.
He, however, added that corruption in procurement was a problem that also affects rich countries as well.
The Abuja Coordinator of the Institute, Abdul Mamman stressed the need to fully implement the procurement Act of 2007.
He recalled that the enactment of the act was based on a World Bank study and advice in 1999 for Nigeria to make laws around its procurement.
He said that since 2007 when the Public procurement Act was passed, certain key important aspects of it were yet to be implemented.
“Since it was enacted in 2007, the most important section of the law which has to do with the constitution of the National Council on procurement has not been done until today.
“Successive governments including this one, has not done that,” Mamman said.
The coordinator who is a Fellow of the Institute said that one of the major problems affecting Nigeria was the non-implementation of laws which it had passed.
He called on government to put more efforts in implementing laudable laws that it had already enacted.
“The procurement law is one of the laws that could have brought Nigeria out of the doldrums, rather what we see is everybody in Nigeria has become a procurement officer.
“This institute was brought to light at the same time the Procurement Act was passed as a result of the recommendation by the World Bank.
“This is because you need to have professionals that will run this profession just like accountancy and medicine,” he said. (NAN)