L-R: Chairman House Committee on Public Procurement, Hon. Wole Oke, his Senate Committee counterpart, Sen. Joshua Dariye, representative of the Secretary to the State Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Mohammed Bukar and the Ag. DG, BPP, Engr. Ahmed Abdu

Nigeria has joined the rest of the world in modernizing their government procurement systems. In demonstration of this,a workshop on electronic procurement (e-procurement) was held from 29th to 31st September, 2016 at the expansiveNew State House Auditorium on Ibrahim Taiwo Road in the precincts of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The workshop, organized by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), was declared open by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. David Bachir Lawal, who was represented by Mr. Mohammed Bukar, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office in the Office of the SGF. In a keynote address, the SGF said: “Government considers that technology is critical to its determination to sanitize the business environment, by limiting human interface that pre-disposes transactions to corruption.”

After Acting Director-General of the Bureau, Engr. Ahmed Abdu, set out the context and objectives of the workshop, goodwill messages were read from the chairs of the Committees on Public Procurement for the Senate (Senator Joshua Dariye) and House of Representatives (Hon. Oluwole Oke), the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, among other dignitaries.

It attracted representatives of stakeholder organizations, such as MDAs, information, communication and technology (ICT) establishments, private sector organizations doing business with the Federal Government and its agencies, civil society organizations and professional organizations. It was also attended by the Country Representative, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud and Chief Country Portfolio and Operations, Mr. Andoh Mensah (who stood in for the Country Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Dore Ousmane.

The workshop, which also featured a report on a recent e-procurement prepared among stakeholders and training in framework agreements, was facilitated by international experts from Canada and Bangor University, South Wales, UK, and resource persons from Nigeria. The e-Procurement system is expected to enhance the operations of Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The e-Procurement system will be deployed on a pilot scale in six (6) selected Ministries, before being eventually rolled out to embrace the whole of the public sector. The selected Pilot Ministries are: (i) Federal Ministry of Health; (ii) Federal Ministry of Education; (iii) Federal Ministry of Agriculture; (iv) Federal Ministry of Transport; (v) Federal Ministry of Water Resources; and (vi) Federal Ministry of Works, Power & Housing.

It is hoped that the system will become operational in these ministries by the end of September 2016.

R-L:  Mr. Abdulai Baba Imoru (AfDB), Chief Bayo Awosemusi (World Bank),

Mr. V. S (Krish) Krishnakumar (World Bank) andMr. S. M. Quamrul Hassan (World Bank)

at the workshop

Ama Eyoof the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies (ICPS) at

Bangor University, UK, making her presentation

Cross Section of the participants