Senate amends Public Procurement Act 

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill to re-enact the Public Procurement Act, 2007, to give priority to locally made goods in all government procurements.

The bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Public Procurement, Chaired by Senetor Joshua Dariye.

The Bill for an act to amend the Public Procurement Act to provide for and adopt a local content policy as well as timely completion of procurement Processes and other related matter, passed the third reading at the senate during the Thursday’s plenary.

Senator Dariye said that the Bill, when signed into law by President Buhari would amend certain relevant sections of the 2007 Procurement Act to protect local manufacturers and ensure speedy completion of projects.

“The Bill seeks to amend section 15(1) of the Act by inserting additional clauses that will close the gap created by the Act as we have witnessed in the recent arms procurement saga. Similarly, the issue of disposal which is an integral aspect of procurement has been aptly captured by the amendment in the new sub-clause 1(e),” Senator Dariye said.

 “The committee has equally sustained the amendments of section 34(1,2) sought by the bill for the purpose of patronising made in Nigeria goods: this will go a long way to encourage our Nigerian manufacturers. The amendment proposed by the bill in section 35 is to review upwards the mobilisation fee from 15 per cent to 25 per cent that may be paid to a supplier or contractor. This is aimed at enhancing timely completion of Procurement Processes at various phases,” he explained.

Nigeria’s economy
Speaking after the passage of the bill, the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki expressed optimism that the new amendments to the act would help stimulate the nation’s economy.

 “We all have a role to play to ensure that the Executive comply especially in the area of giving first priority to locally produced goods. This sort of measure has helped many countries to develop when they had issues of downturn in their economy. One of the things that we have done today is also trying to shorten the process of awarding contracts, and this will go a long way in helping budget implementation.

 “It will go a long way in ensuring that most of the funds are available as quickly as possible and jobs are actually completed. I want to commend my colleagues for passing this bill,” Senator Saraki stated.

The Senate also approved the inclusion of Nigerian institute of Architects and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Survey as members of the National Council on Public Procurement.

At the inauguration of the 8th Senate on June 9, 2015, the Leadership had pledged to encourage local manufacturers and champion procurement of made in Nigeria goods, identifying it as one of the issues in its agenda within the next four years.

Mercy