The Bureau has already sanctioned 13 contractors.
The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on Monday threatened stiff sanctions against contractors and suppliers of goods and services who flout the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
The Director General of the BPP, Emeka Ezeh, who said the sanctions would include barring erring individuals and companies from bidding for any contract in the country for no less than five years as stipulated by the Act, said that the bureau has already barred 13 contractors and suppliers who were earlier sanctioned by the World Bank and inter-American Development Bank Group, in line with the cross-debarment process adopted by the country.
The director general, who spoke during a Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Presentation of Debarment Procedure, in Abuja, stated that the 13 contractors were barred for offering corruption money to officials, and generally misrepresenting facts as well as lying about their capabilities with the view to changing the outcome of a procurement process.
He said that the anti-corruption posture of the Federal Government has been intensified in recent years, adding that the bureau, through ongoing procurement reforms, has stepped up its anti-corruption efforts in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda.
Mr. Ezeh said that the proposed debarment procedure is one of the mechanisms developed by the bureau to punish related corrupt activities and inculcate the required discipline in the country’s public procurement system and ultimately improve the way to do business to meet international good practices.
“It t is like the whole traditional system of social sanction, in which if you do something that is criminal, the community will bring you to the market square and say that this person comes from a family that is known to be thieves and everybody will stop dealing with you,” he said, adding that that is even more effective than trying to go to court and then we’ll be there forever and nothing will happen.
Specific sanctions for offenders, he said, include debarment from doing business with the Nigerian government for not less than five years and a fine of 25 per cent of the value of the procurement in question.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius, promised that the federal government would provide the necessary support by taking all necessary steps to ensure the full implementation of the debarment procedure once it has been agreed upon by all stakeholders.
Mr. Anyim, who was represented by Jamila Suara, stated that in furtherance of the government circular debarring any bidder that has been debarred by any International agency, government was happy that BPP was now developing an in-country debarment procedure that would meet international good practices.
The implementation of the debarment procedure was a call to contractors and service providers to demonstrate the highest standards of ethics, integrity and probity in the way they do business with the federal government.
“Government is willing to provide the enabling environment for only serious and ethical contractors and service providers to take part in the federal government’s procurement process. In that regard, government is totally committed to actively supporting the efforts of the bureau towards the implementation of the procurement reforms in general and the debarment procedures in particular,” he said.
Former government secretary, Steve Oronsanye, had emphasised the need for government to put in place a mechanism to discourage sharp practices in the procurement process, lamenting that though the country already had a robust platform, implementation was still a big challenge.
Mr. Oronsanye expressed belief that the successful adoption of a debarment procedure would lead to more suppliers being ready to conform to stipulated procurement processes.
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