By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon inaugurate the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and Publicity, made this disclosure in a response to a report by an online medium yesterday.
The NCPP is required by law to handle all matters of government procurement, against the current practice whereby the Federal Executive Council (FEC) awards contract. Shehu told the medium that the issue was discussed by the cabinet recently.
Shehu said “I just read your story on Premium Times, lumping the Buhari Administration along with the others as violating the law by failing to inaugurate the National Council on Procurement.
“It is true you have followed up with us on the issue for several weeks but it is equally true that your interest in the issue has given us the impetus to follow up relentlessly with our bosses.
“This issue came up at the last meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, and a decision was taken that the Council be inaugurated as soon as possible,” he said.
Shehu, however, asserted that contrary to what obtained in previous governments, Buhari does not award contracts by himself.
“He does not meddle in the processes leading to award of contracts and does not forward a list of preferred bidders to Ministers as had been the practice in the past,” he said.
The Public Procurement Act, which was signed into law by late President Umaru Yar’Adua on June 4, 2007 provides for the establishment of the NCPP, and the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, as the regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement as well as harmonising existing government policies and practices.
The Act was put in place to allow transparency and ensure public participation in government procurement.
Yar’Adua, who signed the Act into Law, however, failed to inaugurate the NCPP until his death in office.
His successor, Goodluck Jonathan, who stayed in office for six years also failed to inaugurate the council.
Buhari has till date also followed the same path in violating the law.