Senators angry as IGP, AGF, SGF shun public hearing

A one day public hearing on Public Procurement Act at the instance of the Senate fixed for Tuesday, was ignored by the Inspector – General of Police, Abubakar Adamu and the Attorney – General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha as No reason was offered and they sent no representatives.

The Committee led by Senator representing Taraba North, Shuaibu Lau had fixed the hearing on the strength of consolidated bills seeking for amendments of the Public Procurement Act 2007 adopted by the Senate last week Tuesday.

Senator Lau expressed disaffection over the attitude of the senior public officers which he said was disrespectful of the institution of the Senate.

He said:” This committee is not happy with the absence of the critical stakeholders already identified.

” We are strongly expressing our displeasure on their conducts because after being formally invited, they not only absented themselves from this very important public hearing session but not forwarded any written submission on areas of proposed amendments on the Act.

” We are definitely not happy with them because the Act being amended is very critical to all, requiring inputs of all and sundry operating it or being regulated by it.”

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Others whose absence was announced by the Committee included Head of Service, Folashade Esan and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

In attendance were the office of the Bureau of Public Procurement led by its Director-General, Mamman Ahmadu and immediate past Director-General, Engineer Emeka Ezeh.

Director-General of BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, in his submission, however, faulted five different areas of the proposed amendments.

One of them is the administrative function the proposed amendment seeks to confer on the National Council on Public Procurement which he noted was against global practices.

He said: “It appears that the draft amendment seeks to confer administrative functions to the National Council on Public Procurement.

“This proposal is fundamentally against the global principle of corporate governance which prohibits Councils/Boards from participating in day-to-day activities Agencies/organisations that they supervise.

“The Public Procurement Act, 2007 was patterned after the United Nations Commercial International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Public Procurement, which is one of the most globally accepted public procurement model law.

“However, the proposed amendments to the PPA 2007 is In direct conflict with some basic principles of the UNCITRAL Model Law particularly the proposal that advertisements should be for 2 weeks for National Competitive Bidding and 4 Weeks for International Competitive Bidding.

“The UNCITRAL recommends 4 to 8 weeks for an advertisement to enable bidders to prepare their tenders properly.
“The proposal to extend the functions of procurement departments in the procuring entities to include monitoring of projects is not correct

“The proposal that investigations of procurement-related cases should be forwarded to the council may compromise the outcome of such investigations.”

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