The policy is a fall out of the current national data base for contractors, consultants and service providers.
The Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, has said, henceforth, contractors, consultants and service providers, intending to do business with the Federal Government must be registered with the Bureau.
It said failure to do so automatically bars such firms from transacting business with the government.
The Bureau also stated that failure to register with the BPP will also amount to the contravention of the 58(I) of the BPP Act which may also lead to prosecution and on conviction, may lead to imprisonment not less than 5 years but not exceeding 10 years without an option of fine.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, stated this on Monday at a sensitization forum for contractors, Consultants and Service Providers organized by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, in Abuja.
The Minister who was represented by Olushola Omoore, Director in the office of the Solicitor General of the Federation, also noted that violators of the new policy “shall have their names listed in the list of firms and persons that have been barred from participating in Public procurement activities.”
“The contravener shall be tried at the Federal High Court and the prosecuting authority is the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation under section 58(2 and 3) of the 2007 BBP Act”.
The policy is a fall out of the current national data base for contractors, consultants and service providers, a technology driven innovation project that has been developed by the BPP to enhance service delivery and enhance service speedy implementation of federal government budget.
It was gathered that the federal government has decided to go hard on contractors, following the failure of contractors to register with the BPP.
It was also gathered that only 1495 contractors have so far agreed to register with the BPP despite several efforts aimed at getting them to do so.
The project, will among other things, reduce time of processing procurement, achieve value for money, check unwholesome practices in the procurement practice as well as fight corruption.
The data base, which is technology driven, is expected to allow contractors register and participate in procurement activities irrespective of their locations.
It is also expected to reduce the time wasted in procurement cycle since it can be used to pre-qualify contractors online.
It is also expected to put Nigeria in the League of Nations that is implementing similar policies, as well as in speedy implementation of annual federal government budget.
Also speaking at the sensitization forum, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Pius Anyim, said the forum was organized to provide an opportunity to stress government’s commitment to transparency and accountability not just in public procurement but also in all aspects of government business.
The SGF who was represented by Abubakar Magaji, Permanent Secretary, Economic Matters, in the SGF office, stated that the forum was coming at a very auspicious time.
“The forum is a call to all MDAS to get prepared for the required actions necessary to deliver the dividends of good governance to our people,” he said.
He commended the BPP for its commitment to entrench transparency in the nation’s procurement process adding that “this has so far led the federal government to give BPP its full backing in forging ahead with the reform of the public procurement system as provided in the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
“Recently we have been witnessing controversial transactions by government agencies with contractors that did not follow due processes. Government cannot accept a situation where public procurements become a source of frequent embarrassment.
“Apart from having a negative effect on the nation’s image, the situation also erodes the confidence of the citizenry in government,” he said.
He, therefore, urged government not to hesitate in enforcing the new policy
“May I therefore state here that government will not hesitate to invoke all the sanction provisions of the public procurement Act 2007 against any public officer, contractor or consultant who contravenes any provisions of the law.”
The Director General of the BPP, Emeka Eze, in his remark, disclosed that the organization paid contractors N49 billion in 2013 as interest for delays in paying contractors.
He stated that government was doing everything necessary to ensure transparency in the procurement process.