The acting Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Ahmed Abdu, has said that the Federal Government will save N48.4 billion through the implementation of electronic procurement system.
Abdu said this at the flag off of a three-day workshop on implementation of e-procurement for representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), contractors, consultants and service providers.
According to the BPP boss, the new initiative would create huge opportunities for savings, and it would commence on a pilot scale in six selected ministries before a full-scale implementation in the public sector.
The selected ministries include Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, Transport, Water Resources, and Power, Works and Housing.
Abdu said the system would reduce wastage and eliminate all corruption related issues as it enable the Federal Government to achieve efficiency.
He said: “The total non-payroll spent for the Federal Government, based primarily on the proposed Budget for 2016, for the selected six pilot Ministries is approximately N1.4 trillion.
“It is projected that if e-procurement is implemented on this pilot scheme, the potential financial savings will be N48.4 billion, which represents savings of approximately five per cent on recurrent expenditure and three per cent on capital expenditure.
“The technology will help our procurement system to reduce human interface in a manner that MDAs can submit their requests to the Bureau for Due Process ‘No Objection’ in electronic form.
“The Bureau will similarly issue Due Process ‘No Objection’ to MDAs in electronic form.
“In this way, efficiency is more achieved and corruption related issues arising from human interface are eliminated, leading to increased transparency and accountability in public service.”
Speaking also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who declared the workshop open, said that e-procurement was a major component of public procurement reform in Nigeria.
Lawal, who was represented by Muhammed Bukar, the Permanent Secretary, General Services, described the system as a software application to reform public procurement in the country.
He said it should rather be deployed along with strong awareness, capacity building programmes, technological infrastructure development, established standards and sustainable operational e-procurement applications.
He expressed optimism that the implementation of e-procurement would have commenced in the pilot MDAs by end of September to ensure prompt implementation of the 2017 fiscal year.
“Based on this premise, we expect the 2017 budget to be less contentious, to the extent that all the procurements that go into the Appropriation Bill would have passed the tests of transparency, accountability and efficiency,” the secretary said.
The Chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, Oluwole Oke, said the good intentions of the government in eradicating corruption could only be successful if the procurement system was fine tuned.
Oke also assured of the readiness of the lawmakers to support the initiative.