Your Excellences, I kindly crave your indulgence to stand on the existing protocol. I am delighted to be here and to participate in this very important retreat put together by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). This event could not have come at a better time than now when there is more need to curb corruption in this Country.
The theme of the retreat – PUBLIC PROCUREMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT is very important for a current discuss, as the numerous challenges facing our economy show that the only path to achieving sound economic advancement is through human capacity development most especially in the area of Public Procurement Management. I must, therefore, applaud the organizers for choosing this appropriate retreat’s theme.
One of the core mandates of the BPP as enshrined in Section 4 (d) of the Procurement Act, 2007 is the “Attainment of transparency, competitiveness, cost effectiveness and Professionalism in the public sector procurement system.” May I emphasize that this Public procurement regime is underpinned by a number of principles aimed at fostering accountability, transparency in spending public funds to acquire goods, works and services.
The basic tenant of public procurement is straightforward, that is, acquire the right item at the right time, and at the right price, in the most transparent manner. Nonetheless, any variance with this established principle of procurement certainly leads to fraud and corruption in the system.
Procurement fraud is multidimensional; from providing privileged information to prospective companies for a price or fraudulently abusing the bids and tendering process for the benefits of the higher bribe payer.
Corruption in this regard creates devastating chain reactions because the quality of goods and services procured have already been compromised at the initial stage. This generates negative shock effects to the economy, and further escalates socio-political crises in the polity.
Procurement fraud is one of the debilitating issues the EFCC is trying to mitigate. This aspect of the fraud mostly feature in public section corruption, because public servants at the helm of authority in MDA’s more often try to steal from the public coffers through abusing procurement process.
There are several topical cases where the EFCC investigated top civil servants and uncovered how billions of Naira has been stolen through procurement fraud. This has led the EFCC in exposing intricate Money Laundering fashion across the globe through working tirelessly and professionally to unveil these fraudulent schemes.
Ladies and gentlemen, experience, the world over, indicates that Public procurement is increasingly recognized as a key concept that plays a significant role in the successful management of public resources.
For this reason, Nigeria has become more aware of the importance of procurement as an area vulnerable to mismanagement and corruption, and has thus instituted efforts to integrate procurement in a strategic position of government efforts. As such the procurement Act of 2017 MUST be a sacrosanct guiding principle to all Chief Executive Officers of MDA’s in Nigeria, because only strictly adhering to it will save you a jail term.
Ladies and gentlemen, I dare say that the economic power of a nation is unlocked by the quality of Public Procurement System available to its citizens. There is, therefore, huge expectation that synergy between the MDA’s will provide a fertile ground for breaking new grounds in the management of the National Economy.
This will avail our leaders the type of policies and strategies they require to make informed decisions. Also, it is expected that the outcome would add substantial value to the debate on the appropriate routes to building a more virile national economy.
I wish to restate the commitment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to work closely with relevant Government Agencies and Professional Organizations towards the promotion of confidence in our public procurement system.
Permit me to state that since the inception of BPP in 2007, we have enjoyed a commendable collaboration with the Bureau, which has assisted enormously in the course of investigation and prosecution of any matter related to the conduct of procurement processes by procuring entities, or the conclusion or operation of procurement contracts where necessary or desirable.
Once again, I congratulate all stakeholders at this retreat and wish us fruitful deliberations.
Thank you and God Bless.
Magu, the Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) delivered this piece at the 2018 procurement retreat for chief executive officers, (CEOS) of federal government agencies, parastatals, commissions and departments at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Saturday, April 7, 2018.