The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, has urged permanent secretaries to maintain transparency and effectiveness in their procurement processes.
Kifasi gave the advice at the 6th Annual Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries, held in Uyo on Saturday. He said in the face of dwindling resources, the nation could not afford to waste its revenue through corrupt procurement processes.
According to him, as accounting officers, the permanent secretaries must ensure that every naira of the federation goes far to bring development to the people.
“In an environment of dwindling economic resources, effective procurement is vital. We need to ensure that every naira goes as far as it can to delivering development to our people.”
He emphasised that permanent secretaries would be held responsible for any corrupt practices which might occur during procurement processes in their respective ministries even after retirement.
Kifasi said Section 20 of the Public Procurement Act 2007 vested the responsibility for compliance on the accounting officer.
He said the country’s procurement reforms embarked upon by the President had been appreciated for attracting foreign investments into the country.
In her remarks, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, said the culture of transparency and accountability should be the embraced in conducting government’s business. She said the implementation of procurement reforms had reduced waste and ensured efficiency and effectiveness in public expenditure.
The minister urged the permanent secretaries to work with ministers to ensure that all actions taken were in line with due process. She charged them to guard against frictions with their ministers during procurement processes.
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, who declared the event open, said the procurement reforms of the Federal Government had entrenched due process in the award of contracts.
Akpabio, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Valerie Ebe, said that before the enactment of THE Procurement Act, corruption in procurement accounted for 70 per cent of government’s budget.
He said that ministries, departments and agencies should base their annual procurement budget on verifiable need assessment and impact positively on the needs of the people.
The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, said the involvement of states’ heads of service was to encourage states to buy into the procurement reform.
Ezeh urged State Governments to enact Fiscal Responsibility and Public Procurement Laws to ensure due process in the handling of government’s financial transactions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that six state heads of service were invited from the six geo-political zones to attend the retreat.