The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has disclosed that the federal government could reduce its capital and recurrent expenditures in the 2016 budget by as much as N48.43 billion using the electronic-procurement platform.
Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja, acting director-general of the BPP, Mr. Ahmed Abdul, stated that e-Procurement could enable the federal government achieve efficiency and reduce wastage in its transactions.
Addressing a gathering of professional procurement officers in Abuja, Abdul said that with the use of the technology, ‘‘huge opportunities for savings will be realised by the federal government from the implementation of e-Procurement.
‘‘The total non-payroll spend for the federal government, based primarily on the budget for 2016, for the selected six pilot ministries is approximately N1,468,341,056,996.00.”
“It is projected that, if e-Procurement is implemented on this pilot scheme, the potential financial savings will be N48,436,717,647.00, which represents savings of approximately 5 per cent on recurrent expenditure and 3 per cent on capital expenditure.”
The BPP boss said, “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 and the bureau, similarly, will 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.”
Also speaking, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Procurement, Dr. Oluwole Oke, said “most requests to be made by President Buhari for emergency economic powers can be robustly tackled with the e-procurement system.”
The legislator stated that “this is the best time to look into e-public procurements in Nigeria because we are in recession. The economy must be stimulated through increased public spending.
The federal government has pledged to roll out stimulus package, but this move alone will not sufficiently address the economic challenges we are facing.”
The good intentions of the government he said “can only succeed if it meets the expected mandate. Time is of the essence, this is where e-procurement comes in.
We need not be scared away, countries that have refined their procurement systems have introduced e-procurement or digital procurement and this has reduced procurement cost, improved administrative efficiency, streamlined processes, minimal corruption, superb benchmarking, selection of most competent suppliers and bidders and excellent value for money.”
“There are ongoing amendments to the current procurement laws in both chambers and I can confirm that the public hearing has been concluded by the house of representatives and the proposals for the procurement bill have been sent to relevant committees of the national assembly,” he added.