•Urges Buhari to constitute procurement council Worried by the gross violation of Public Procurement Act by the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, which has caused the nation to lose several trillions of Naira over the years,the House of Representatives has summoned the heads of some of the affected MDAs retired or serving over the development. Some of the MDAs involved in the first batch of the invitation are: Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Ministry of Defence comprising the Army, Navy and the Air Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS). Others are the Nigeria Oil and Gas Local Content Monitoring Board, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Pension Commission, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others. The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Procurement, Honourable Wole Oke, representing Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency of Osun State, who confirmed this, during the committee’s meeting in Abuja, at the weekend, said the action became necessary in order to arrest the situation and prevent future occurrences in the MDAs where several trillions of Naira had gone down the drain. Honourable Oke, who disclosed that already letters of invitation had been dispatched to all the affected MDAs, vowed that all identified culprits during the committee’s investigations would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Creimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) for prosecution to serve as deterrent to others. According to Honourable Oke, “Within the short time of the our committee coming on board, we have discovered several wrongdoings being perpetrated by the MDAs, through which several trillions of naira had gone to private pockets.” “No respect for the Public Procurement Act, hiding of books from legislative scrutiny, lack of trained manpower, over invoicing, splitting of contracts and collusion with Bureau of Public Procurement officials and lots of sharp malpractices have been the order of the day in the MDAs, which are punishable offences under the Public Procurement Act that attract a minimum of five years imprisonment without an option of fine,” he stated. “It is not going to be business as usual in the eigth Assembly as emphasised by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, during our official inauguration. Enough is enough, if things are properly done in line with the Public Procurement Act, there will be no room for the kind of the arms’ deal scam rocking the nation now. I can say it categorically that by the time we start looking into the MDAs’ books, the current arms’ scam, otherwise known as Dazukigate, will be a child’s play,” the lawmaker declared. According to him, “As part of the solutions, we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency and in line with his current anti-corruption crusade, constitute the National Procurement Council and compel all the MDAs to open up their books for legislative scrutiny, as all the MDAs have deliberately circumvent the Procurement Act over the years without any checks and balances.” “If President Buhari must realise his dream to combat corruption within government circle and public places,he must abide and adhere by the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007. He must use the provisions as a veritable tool to fight corruption squarely in Nigeria,” he stated. “As the chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, I have submitted a Bill before the House that seeks to amend Public Procurement Act 2007 to make the president the chairman of the National Procurement Council in place of the Minister of Finance, who is also the procurer while the appointment of its Director-General should be done by the president, but subject to the confirmation of the National Assembly,” he added. The committee is saddled with the responsibilities of over sighting the implementation of the Public Procurement Act, oversight the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit,monitor the implementation of all capital projects in the Appropriation Acts and ensure that all procurement of goods and services carried out by agencies and parastatals, on behalf of the Federal Government, comply with the Procurement Act, among others.]]>

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