Over two years in office, Buhari continues to violate Nigeria’s procurement law

President Muhammadu Buhari-at-FEC Meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari at FEC Meeting

Despite promises made during the 2015 election, President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to inaugurate the National Council on Public Procurement, NCPP, as required by the Public Procurement Act 2007.

Instead, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, under the leadership of the president, continues to usurp the most important function of the NCPP: approval of contracts.

The Public Procurement Act, which was signed into law by late President Umaru Yar’Adua on June 4, 2007 provides for the establishment of the NCPP, and the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, as the regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement as well as harmonising existing government policies and practices.

The Act was put in place to allow transparency and ensure public participation in government procurement.

Mr. Yar’Adua, who signed the Act into Law, however, failed to inaugurate the NCPP until his death in office. His successor, Goodluck Jonathan, who stayed in office for six years also failed to inaugurate the council.

Mr. Buhari has till date also toed the path of his predecessors in violating the law.

For weeks, PREMIUM TIMES tried to get Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson. Garba Shehu, to explain why the president has chosen to ignore the Act and refused to set up the NCPP; or whether he plans to do so. He repeatedly declined comment on the matter.

NIGERIANS REACT

The failure of the president and his predecessors to put the NCPP in place has been condemned by experts and anti-corruption activists.

A former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, described the refusal of successive governments to inaugurate the council as ”a reflection of the poor governance history of many African countries.”

Ms. Ezekwesili, pioneer head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, said the refusal has to do with the, ”priority of those in government.”

“It has to do with the prioritisation, I mean the priority that the political class gives to transactions above vision, strategy and policy,” she said.

“Transactions provide the opportunity for corruption, so they will like to have much more control over that than give it up to some institutional mechanisms like the council.

“How do you begin to explain an illegality that one administration after the other has made since that law was passed in 2007?  There is no other way to explain that illegality than to say that there is no incentive on the part of the political class to do what the law technically has recommended.

“That recommendation is the best way to direct the energy of the political class towards the most important activity that should worry them while leaving the council to operate in the way that it was envisaged.  So, if they have no incentive to set up the council, it could only be because they are very much interested in transactions and the cabinet ought not to be interested in transactions,” she said.

In his reaction, the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Awwal Rafsanjani, said it is unfortunate that the APC administration that came “on the hope of fighting corruption and save the country from total collapse” has also joined the bandwagon in violating the law.

Mr. Rafsanjani said the Public Procurement Act 2007 is one of the “sunshine laws” established under the recommendation of the World Bank in 2001 to help in achieving transparency in the procurement process.

“Central to fighting corruption is the establishment of part one, section one of the Act which is the establishment of the National Council on Public Procurement. This council has the responsibility, among others to translate efforts to sanitise the public sector by applying the content of the law in full.

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan was of course not interested in terms of ensuring that the council is inaugurated and that is how he ended up his tenure without getting that council inaugurated.

“The current government came with all sort of motivation and encouragement that they want to fight corruption, but from what we are seeing, it is unfortunate that the government appears to have forgotten that one of the major things that they need to do to fight corruption is through public procurement. You can see the scandal every now and then because of lack of compliance and adherence to the implementation of the Public Procurement Law in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr. Rafsanjani said almost all agencies of government have experienced one form of scandal or the other “simply because people are not ready to comply with the public procurement law and central to it is ensuring that you have the council inaugurated.

“So, it’s very disappointing that the government that came with the slogan of fighting corruption is not interested in ensuring that the law is implemented”.

A UK based Nigerian activist, Kayode Ogundamisi, also said the refusal of successive Nigerian governments to implement the law is “disappointing.”

”But what is more shocking is the inability of the Buhari government, a government that campaigned on the anti-corruption platform and promised to open government to scrutiny is following in the adverse footsteps of previous governments by failing to set up a National Council on Public Procurement.”

Mr. Ogundamisi said setting up the council will enable the establishment of a regulatory body that will monitor and conduct oversight of public procurement.

“Nigeria spends a huge chunk on recurrent expenditure on the civil service and public procurement has become a nest of corruption and a functional regulatory body will be able to ensure integrity, accountability and transparency in the procurement process.

“Hopefully the Buhari government will revisit this issue. The anti-corruption war will not be far-reaching without institutional reforms and the establishment of organs that will outlive governments and ensure probity,” he said.

In his reaction, Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Inibehe Effiong, said the enormous responsibilities put on the NCPP by the Act cannot be treated with levity by the government.

“The refusal to constitute the council is an act of executive lawlessness,” he said.

“The purport of the Act is to entrench probity and accountability in the award of public contracts and ensure transparency in procurement processes.

“Since the council is not in existence, the functions vested in the Council by Section 2 of the Act have not been legally exercised. All acts which require the approval and involvement of the Council cannot be said to have been validly carried out in the eyes of the law. It is an act of illegality for the Bureau of Public Procurement to function without the Council which has supervisory powers over it,” he said.

Mr. Effiong said it is pertinent for Mr. Buhari to immediately constitute the council in line with the anti-corruption posture of the government.

THE CAMPAIGN PROMISE

When he was still seeking to be president, the then candidate Muhammadu Buhari promised to do things differently from the Goodluck Jonathan administration in terms of contract awards.

In a campaign document tagged “My Covenant with Nigerians,” Mr. Buhari promised that he will show personal leadership in the war against corruption and also hold all the people who work with him to account. He said he would also “inaugurate the National Council on Procurement as stipulated in the Procurement Act so that the Federal Executive Council, which has been turned to a weekly session of contract bazaar, will concentrate on its principal function of policy making.”

Months after his election, however, both Mr. Buhari and his party, APC, denied authoring the document.

A PREMIUM TIMES fact-check found their denial to be false.

However, while the president choosing to honour to his campaign promise is a matter of integrity, the Public Procurement Act is a Nigerian law which he continues to flout by not setting up the NCPP.

“We cannot continue in this path of impunity and disregard for institutional processes,” Mr. Effiong said.


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  • Sam

    In as much as it good to implement this law as it is , we must also note that ,those who will constitute the board of this body are not going to be angels ,or aliens, they are going to be Nigerians, corrupt and compromised politicians .so personally I trust Buhari and his VP to ensure contracts are worth what it claims .

    • Sanssouci

      Spoken like a true Buhari worshipper, i didn’t expect anything less, Lai Mohammed will not be disappointed. The other argument you and your horde of human worshippers will invariably advance, is that if GEJ did not do it in 6 years why is anyone giving your god stress he has only been there 2.5 years. Soooo predictable

      • De Gea Messi

        I can assure you that so called ‘sam’ is likely to be Kay soyemi or tundeMESS.
        Those two can’t do without coming out to defend(worship?) their lord. But the embarrassment has gotten so bad they can’t use their known names.
        What I keep wondering is how much a man can be paid to sell his soul to the devil.
        Amazing.

        • Sanssouci

          lol!!!

        • abodes_124

          Look bro. its a job. There are people who are employed as night soil men you know. This is the white collar equivalent

    • Bade Amoye

      @disqus_7PLjCLpBtK:disqus

      ONLY THE DEEP can call to the deep. You cannot expect wisdom, knowledge and understanding
      from a Primary Six certificate president. He will continue to wobble and fumble because he doesn’t
      know better. Muhamadu Buhari may say for himself that he has good intentions, but good intentions
      alone never built anything on the face of the earth without wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
      Muhamadu Buhari is the wrong man for the job. He does not have what it takes to move Nigeria
      forward. His level of discernment is at the level of a village elder. He cannot articulate any good
      thought-process in a complete sentence in English language. Without Wasc certificate, he’s dull.

      • abodes_124

        my village elders will take offence at this comparison with buhari

    • Hasiyah

      I really hope you are being paid well to air such wicked views.
      Can you swear by whatever God you believe in(if you believe in the existence of one) that what you wrote is what you honestly believe to be the truth?
      Can you swear by your own Life that you genuinely believe what you wrote to be the truth?
      MAY GOD ALMIGHTY JUDGE & REWARD YOU SPEEDILY AND ACCORDINGLY TO WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN.
      Please say Amen.

    • De Gea Messi

      Well done sam, welldone.
      Lai(e) Mohammed would be proud of you.

      Even garba shehu who probably earns more than you do for this damage control job reacted this way:
      “For weeks, PREMIUM TIMES tried to get Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson. Garba Shehu, to explain why the president has chosen to ignore the Act and refused to set up the NCPP; or whether he plans to do so. He repeatedly DECLINED comment on the matter.”

      Mr sam, I must confess you are really good at what you do: PACKING SH*T!
      Keep it up bro.

    • Kareem

      From you reasoning, it can be implied that since The judiciary, EFCC and other law enforcement bodies are not run by angels and aliens but ‘Nigerians who are corrupt’, they should all close shop and handover to the ONLY two non corrupt men in Nigeria.
      You are so intelligent, clap for yourself.

    • abodes_124

      i think that is buharis approach. He truly believes that only he can do everything. So the country stagnates waiting for him to wake up.

  • De Gea Messi

    Where are the Kay soyemis/Julius, tundeMESS/tunsj/manenough, Maria, Rommel, abdulmojeed, amazing2012, and other Ar*e lickers?? Throw in the names saraki, patience, diezani and see if they won’t resurrect from their false coma!
    Please come out, be loyal to the end..come out and worship your gOD.
    Clowns!
    *one of those punks above appears to have metamorphosed into ‘sam’ above.
    LOL!!!!!

    • Mizch

      Their phone batteries are dead and they couldn’t buy petrol for their generators to charge them.

  • Extaycee2000

    @disqus_7PLjCLpBtK:disqus

    Muhamadu Buhari has made Nigeria worse than he met it.

    That is end of story – no need for his long excuses, he is incompetent.

    Buhari should be repealed and replaced if Nigeria wants to make progress.

    • AryLoyds

      Buhari is an animal in human skin – fela
      So whatever Buhari does now are just normal traits. In the animal kingdom

  • APCgrassCutters

    Buhari is a man of ‘intagirity’.

  • forestgee

    The situation today is worse than what this government met when they took over in 2015. Unfortunately they will continue to tell lies.

    • utolason

      Worse than what, a fool’s paradise? As long as you continue to believe in fairy tale reality will continue to elude you.

      • forestgee

        Foreign Exchange Rate was N198 then now N365, Petrol was N97 then now N145, from Q3 2015 to Q3 2017 this government lost almost 10m jobs (NBS)! Are you in your fool’s paradise? Face the truth and real World…

  • GEJ FOREVER

    FUEL JIHAD …… BUHARI WINS!

    We must join Buhari as he celebrates his most successful Jihad since he illegally and unconstitutionally occupied Aso Rock.

    To Buhari’s credit …. Christians and Southerners were successfully frustrated from celebrating Christmas and New Year as Buhari waged a highly successful fuel Jihad against them.

    Many Christians and Southerners are openly confessing that 2017 was the worst year ever in the history of Nigeria in terms of celebration of Christmas and New Year.

    • Mani_Kay

      My Brother … it is not just about him winning the fuel Jihad … Buhari decided to add salt into the injury by despising the Lord Jesus Christ who is the focus of Christians at Christmas ….. Buhari decided to make himself the focus for Christians at Christmas by ensuring the airing of TV Documentary that solely focused on Buhari on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day ….. can you beat that?

      • emmanuel

        Lot of Nigerians did not believe me when is said God has rejected Buhari when he was away to treat himself.
        The events since then has proved me right.
        I also mentioned the Nebuccadnezers treatment. He has just triggered the last of the Nebuccadnezers experience for himself on Christmas day. God cannot be mocked by a mere mortal

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Buhari and his Fulani cabal are programmed to be lawless ,they do not believe or practice ” rule of law “. They view themselves as rulers over a conquered rerritory instead of being elected to govern.

    It is clear that the above primitive mentality and mindset has given rise to the fiscal indiscipline , extra judicial killings of thousands and the recent Christmas present of blowing up penises and testicles of suspects . To make matters worse, Buhari is being projected as a substitute to Jesus…..yes on a day Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, Buhari propaganda was what we saw on TV instead of the customary nativity plays and biblical stories.

    NIGERIA HAS SUCESSFULLY RETROGRESSED INTO A FULL BLOWN BANANA REPUBLIC ON THE WATCH OF THE FULANI GANG AT ASO ROCK .

    • grand maze

      You never see anything, the cockroach of Owerri has renamed Maria Assumpta avenue named after Assumpta Catholic church to Mohammed buhari avenue and Imo Catholics are boiling considering it a desecration of the church

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        It will be changed when the megalomaniac clown goes. In the time being, the people of Imo will have to cope with the calamity they brought on themselves. This guy was a known 419er yet they let him win elections. In Anambra they will take your rice ,oil money ,etc but they vote for the most credible candidate or tested one .

  • Poseidon

    How we continue to make this mistake even for journalists. Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) was in office from 5 May 2010 – 29 May 2015. How is this 6years in office please? It’s clearly 5 years and 24 days.

  • Mentus

    Mani Kay,
    This only happended courtesy of Adesina and Osinbanjo – your Christian brothers.

    • emmanuel

      Both men are fake prophets and pastors. They are certified fraudster and liar, as Buhari in a bid not to be seen as lying, make them do his lying. To the effect that he also minimises Garba Shehu lying assignment to the so-called men of God. Osinbajo has released another N1.2 trillion capital vote in 2017 again. meanwhile, less than N350 billion has been released so far. Records shows than
      Their place is reserved in the deep lake of fire.

  • emmanuel

    “Despite promises made during the 2015 election, President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to inaugurate the National Council on Public Procurement, NCPP, as required by the Public Procurement Act 2007”.

    This confirms that Buhari indeed came to steal, kill and destroy. He has only succeeded and pursuing Southerners to ensure he grounds the economy of the wealthy people here, by collecting what any may have acquired illegally and share same among his kinsmen through re-looting.
    I have not forgotten how we said those who help make dictators end up as victims. That has happened to so many of them and is still continuous.
    Meanwhile, our brothers and sisters in diaspora who thought Buhari’s ascension would hasten their return home, have gone into hibernation as their voices have been completely drowned in frustration.
    They manage to double the little they earn over there on account of a grossly devalued currency, yet cannot also make meaningful use of such gains.
    When a wicked man rules, the righteous suffers and that is what both the righteous and the wicked are suffering today. Even sai baba chanters keep vigil at fuel stations or queue up at black market while bargaining for cheaper buy.

  • Izedomi Ohirein

    It will be great if Buhari live up to expectation and inaugurate NCPP for the first time in our recent history.
    This brings to fucose his slowness in doing things and poor health during his first 2yrs in office. What he need is for Nigerians to keep insisting on inauguration NCPP.
    Aso Rock is controlled by civil servants and public officers, who the inauguration NCPP is against their personal interest and would rather have things as they are. Buhari need our constant reminder and encouragement than criticism.
    God bless Nigeria.

  • Pawa2

    Buhari needs to establish NCPP as soon as possible and let to to carry its work unhindered. You can not fight corruption effectively if procurement is not transparent and not seen to be transparent.

  • Gbazi Ayogba

    If there is no news to tell why not just leave the page blank? Or you insert some advert. PDP signed the bill into law and violated it for 8 years. Buhari should rush to implement it with all the flaws contained in it?

    • abodes_124

      Buhari rush? God forbid.

      • Iskacountryman

        buhari is the law…

        • abodes_124

          …of inertia!

          • Iskacountryman

            whatever…

          • Iskacountryman

            bad boy…

  • abodes_124

    Thanks PT. Keep on harrying them whichever government it is. that is your job as the 4th estate of the realm