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Tinubu Initiates Public Procurement Act Review

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In a significant move to enhance fiscal discipline in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu has initiated a comprehensive review of the Public Procurement Act.

Spearheaded by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Lateef Fagbemi, aims to streamline government expenditures and ensure alignment with the appropriation act.

The review process will be carried out by a special committee established during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.

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This review is expected to reconcile the appropriation act, public procurement law, and the fiscal responsibility act to foster greater transparency and efficiency in government spending.

“President Bola Tinubu, in line with his desire to enhance fiscal discipline, has raised the need for a thorough reconciliation of these critical legislative frameworks,” said Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, while briefing journalists after the FEC meeting.

 Aligning Expenditures with Appropriations

The directive from President Tinubu also includes a mandate for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to identify any gaps between the appropriated sums and the actual amounts required for project execution. Such gaps must be promptly reported to both the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and the Federal Ministry of Finance, the President added,

“The President is keen on ensuring that every naira spent is accounted for and that we avoid unnecessary fiscal slippages.”

Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility

To spearhead this initiative, a special committee chaired by Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi has been tasked with reviewing the Public Procurement Act. This review is expected to reconcile the appropriation act, public procurement law, and the fiscal responsibility act to foster greater transparency and efficiency in government spending.

“President Bola Tinubu, in line with his desire to enhance fiscal discipline, has raised the need for a thorough reconciliation of these critical legislative frameworks,” Bagudu noted.

Nigeria’s Public Procurement Landscape

The Public Procurement Act, first enacted in 2007, was designed to regulate the procurement of goods, works, and services by the federal government. Over the years, it has been instrumental in promoting transparency, accountability, and value for money in public spending. However, challenges such as bureaucratic bottlenecks, corruption, and inefficiencies have persisted, necessitating periodic reviews and updates to the legislation.

The current review under President Tinubu’s administration is seen as a crucial step towards addressing these long-standing issues and aligning procurement practices with international best standards. By doing so, the government aims to ensure that public funds are utilized effectively, and developmental projects are completed on time and within budget.

The Role of Technology in Public Procurement

One of the key areas expected to be addressed in the review is the incorporation of technology in the procurement process. E-procurement systems have been shown to enhance transparency, reduce corruption, and improve efficiency in public procurement.

“The adoption of e-procurement systems will not only streamline the procurement process but also provide a transparent platform for monitoring and evaluating procurement activities,” said an industry expert.

Countries like Kenya and Ghana have successfully implemented e-procurement systems, resulting in significant savings and improved accountability. Nigeria’s move towards similar technological advancements could yield comparable benefits.

Impact on the Economy

A transparent and efficient procurement system is vital for boosting investor confidence. Investors need assurance that public funds are managed prudently and that government contracts are awarded fairly and transparently.

“Ensuring fiscal discipline through a robust procurement framework is essential for attracting both local and international investors,” said an economist. “It signals a commitment to good governance and financial prudence, which are critical for sustainable economic growth.”

Effective Implementation

Effective implementation of the reviewed Public Procurement Act will require collaboration among various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector players, and civil society organizations. Their input and cooperation will be crucial in identifying gaps, proposing solutions, and ensuring compliance with the revised procurement guidelines.

Read Also: Nigeria Battles Food Inflation: Government Unveils ₦2 Trillion Plan to Ensure Food Security

If You Ask Me

President Tinubu’s initiative to review the Public Procurement Act is a timely and necessary step towards enhancing fiscal discipline and ensuring efficient utilization of public funds. By addressing gaps in procurement and aligning expenditures with appropriations, the government aims to foster greater transparency, accountability, and value for money in public spending.

As the special committee led by Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi embarks on this critical task, stakeholders and citizens alike are hopeful that the resulting reforms will pave the way for sustainable development and improved governance in Nigeria.

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