Reps support payment of 30% mobilization fee to contractors
•As Public Procurement Act amendment bill scales through second reading
The House of Representatives on Wednesday expressed support for the bill which seeks to review upward the current 15 per cent of the total contract sum as mobilization fee being paid to contractors, to 30 per cent.
The lawmakers expressed the support during the consideration of a ‘Bill for an Act to amend the National Council on Public Procurement and the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, No. 14, 2017 to review the mobilization fees paid to contractors, institute e-procurement and provide time frame for the procurement process,’ which scaled through second reading.
In his lead debate, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Peter Akpatason explained that the Bill has been debated and passed by the Senate and seeks the concurrence of the House.
According to him, the bill seeks to adjust procurement processes and review upwards the financial mobilization to local contractors from 15% to at least 30% to encourage the contractors to do their work well.
In his contribution, Hon. Mohammed Monguno argued that some aspects of the Public Procurement Act enacted to improve transparency in governance has now constituted certain bottlenecks, hence the need to take care of these bottlenecks.
On her part, Majority Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha expressed optimism that the bill would aid the government in its obligations to the citizenry and ensure the January to December budget cycle.
In his intervention, Hon. Nasir Ahmed applauded the timeliness of the amendments proposed by the Bill especially the shortening of the timeframe for procurement which would ensure projects are initiated and completed in a timely fashion, ensuring the positive impact on the economy.
In the same vein, Hon. Ahmed Jaha stressed that the bill will empower local contractors who depend on bank loans for carrying out their contractual obligations, as these loans are too stringent with double-digit interest rates.
Similarly, Hon. Toby Okechukwu stated that the bill seeks to cure the challenges associated with the public procurement Act.
To this end, he called for the scrutiny of the Bill to ensure it achieves the objectives it seeks to.
After robust debate on the bill, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila referred it to the Committee of the Whole.