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Violation of Procurement Act hinders project execution – TETFund

Violation of Procurement Act hinders project execution – TETFund

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund on Wednesday said, violation of Public Procurement Act in award and execution of public contracts hinders the smooth and timely execution of TETFund intervention projects in tertiary institutions across the country.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, disclosed this on Wednesday at a three-day capacity building workshop on procurement processes, organised for TETFund Beneficiary Institutions in conjunction with Bureau of Public Procurement holding in Enugu.

Represented by the Director Strategic Planning and Development of TETFund, Mr Irene Erivwo, the Executive Secretary regretted that several officials of public Tertiary Institutions are not fully conversant with laid down procedures, standards, and processes with regards to the award and execution of public contracts in line with the Act.

He, however, warned the TETFund beneficiary institutions in the country to be accountable in public procurement processes, while accessing funds for various institutions, adding that about 80 to 90 percent of its activities revolve around procurement.

He said, “While TETFund is fully conscious and aware of the enormous task and responsibilities of the Bureau in respect of this Act, several officials of our public Tertiary Institutions are not fully conversant with laid down procedures, standards, and processes with regards to the award and execution of public contracts in line with the Act.

“Such ignorance many times has led to avoidable problems that hinder the smooth and timely execution of TETFund intervention projects in tertiary institutions across the country. Familiarity with the public procurement laws remains a national priority and is tied to the achievement of the national interest and objective of development through the eradication of irregular practices in awards and execution of public contracts.”

He said World Bank report on award has shown that average of 10 billion dollars is lost yearly to fraudulent practices in execution of public contracts through inflation of cost, lack of procurement plans, poor project prioritisation, poor budgeting process, lack of competition and value for money and other methods that influence procurement and contract award process.

Echono explained that the workshop is targeted at building the capacity of beneficiary public institutions in Nigeria on public procurement processes, with a view to promoting accountability, transparency and efficiency for effective and timely delivery of TETFund projects.

In line with its guidelines for accessing the funds, the Executive Secretary stressed that beneficiaries are required to conceive, develop and put together all necessary documentations and processes for the award.

The workshop, he further said, was to familiarise the heads of the beneficiary public tertiary institutions with the operations, standards, and benchmark, that would enable them attain transparency, competitiveness, professionalism and cost effectiveness while procuring their TETFund interventions.

He said, “By the mandate of the TETFund and in line with its guidelines for accessing the funds, beneficiaries are required to conceive, develop and put together all necessary documentation and processes for the award of the contracts by the institutions who are the procuring entities.

“It is, therefore, very necessary as public institutions to be properly acquainted with the Public Procurement Act of 2007.”

In his welcome address, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu, reminded participants of the declining revenue from crude oil, which according to him, “is our main source of financing the National Budget.”

He said the essence of the work is to equip participants with the vital skills necessary to ensure that good procurement practices are entrenched.

Ahmadu, who was represented by Eze Obasi, Director, Special Procurement Department, regretted that some institutions engage contractors who do not possess proper Manufacturer’s Authorisation to procure equipment for them.

Meanwhile, about 246 public tertiary institutions across the country, including Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, benefited from the exercise

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