Reps investigate fraud in BPP

By Kemi Yesufu

The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the activities of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP over numerous allegations of fraudulent, unfair and non-transparent practices.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara

The Committee is to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

The resolution of the House was sequel to the passage of a motion brought before the House by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. AbdulRazak Namdas, titled: “Need to Investigate the activities of a Cartel within the Bureau of Public Procurement Involving Fraudulent Manipulation, Abuse and Breach of Public Procurement Act.”

Rep. Abdularazak Namdas

“The Bureau of Public Procurement is established by the Public Procurement Act 2007 and charged with the responsibility of ensuring the application of fair, competitive and transparent standards and practices for the procurement; and the attainment of transparency, competitiveness, cost effectiveness and professionalism in the public-sector procurement system.

“Also recalls that the Bureau is further empowered to prevent fraudulent and unfair procurement and review the procurement and award of contract procedures of every entity to which the Public Procurement Act applies”, Namdas explained.

But he however explained that despite the statutory and sacred responsibilities imposed on the Bureau, recent events reveal that the Bureau has been violating the Public Procurement Act through numerous fraudulent, unfair and non-transparent practices.

“Upon conclusion of procurement processes by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for awards within their threshold, the Bureau adopts underhand practices aimed at bringing the bidding process within its reach, hence, the illegal activities of a cartel within the Bureau has prompted pre-qualified but unsuccessful bidders to write petitions to the Bureau against successful bidders.

“Upon presentation of the Petition, the Bureau forcefully initiated an Administrative Review Process, suspended the procurement process and invited the contractors and the MDAs for discussions, which eventually became an avenue for extortion of money from the contractor(s),” Namdas said.

According to him, the Bureau is undermining the budget implementation of the Federal Government and is sabotaging the Nigerian economy and exposing Nigerians to hardship and sufferings.

He therefore expressed concern that if urgent steps are not taken to address the activities of the cartel within the Bureau, it will result in severe damage to the Public Procurement system and to the Budget implementation process.

When the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who presided over plenary called for a vote on the motion, it passed without dissent.


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