The Nigerian Institution of procurement Engineers, Lagos Chapter is in the news. While a few may not know about the institution because it is new, there is no doubt a lot happening within it to demand the attention of engineers.
First of all, procurement is the central focus of our economy as a nation with relevantly low industry utilization. Secondly, most engineering industries, public and private rely on procurement, Even the manufacturing sector that had to order equipment and machinery and parts are all involved.
With many engineers in the sector, it is natural that they have a body of their own that serve their interest and assist in the professional advancement
it is for this reason to help its members that it has been covertly working on issues of basic importance to the profession
One of such is the law on procurement and anti corruption.
Both are vital as they are importance in the success of the practitioners and the profession. For, while one assist in attaining success, the other, when neglected, could dent the integrity of the profession. Indeed, one of the vital links to success in the profession is integrity and reliability. hence the Institute confronted corruption, which is an hydra-headed monster in our nation and ensure it gave orientation to members on this evil practices to ensure high level integrity among engineers in procurement.
The Chairman of the Chapter, Sir Samuel Echedom waxed philosophical when he said that while every nation have challenges in the procurement Act implementation, Nigeria’s challenges is complicated by “low interaction between procurement entities and public procurement authority, deliberate control of competition, non compliance to the profession of the law, splitting of contract into smaller lots, lack of funds and non-cooperativeness of suppliers etc”
At its second annual procurement summit held in Lagos, speakers after speakers led by former president of NSE Engr Emeka Ezeh, Prof Kunle Wahab and hosts of others took time to dwell on various issues that are fundamental to the profession. It is therefore not surprising that few days later, the Senate, began the amendment to BPP act. An issue which was part of the Summit agenda. Our engineers are duly prepared as you can read the submission of the former NSE President EZEh HERE
indeed Dr Chukurawa in his presentation on anti corruption explained the negative ways corruption affects procurement system.
Also at the event was Engr Prof Kunle Wahab, former head of BMPIU The Presidency, opened what he termed “Pandora box” through the deep exposition of the various challenges facing the sector. He dwelled on the law regulating procurement in Nigeria, particularly the
he said that public procurement Law was established to modify the stakeholders by emphasizing its tenets such as value for money, fairness, transparency, equity, accountability and eliminating corruption. unfortunately, the above tenets were later seen by businessmen as obstacles for good business.
He explained various factors militating against the effective operation of the procurement act in Nigeria. Some of which are are the failure to establish council on public procurement, which, despite being a major clause in the law, the FG has chosen to ignore it; need to remove ambiguities and insert areas of new emphasis; need to try the violators of the Act, low motivation of procurement officers who he recommended for higher remuneration in a bid to stave off corruption practices.
Others are inadequate project funding, under capacity of the BPP, lack of data on standard and metrical specifications, among others.
Dr Chris Chukurah, the Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor on Projects, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike shed more lights on the corruption in the sector. He categorized various breaches under: Influence and role of governance authority, Budgetary and financial issues, Professional weaknesses, Planning deficiency and Process drawbacks.
The Summit moderated by Dr James Akanmu was success by all standard and worth revising. if you missed this year edition, pray not to miss any other edition as this Summit has come to stay as the must attend for any serious minded professional be it engineer or otherwise who is practicing in procurement sector.
kudos to its pioneer chairman Engr .. for their sustained efforts…