Senate passes amendments to Public Procurement Act

Senate plenary

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to amend parts of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

One of the amendments made to the Act is the upward review of contractors’ mobilisation fees from 15 to 30 per cent in Section 35.

The lawmakers said the recommendation of a committee to review upwards the mobilisation fee from 15 to 20 per cent for local contractors is insufficient.

The amendment for an upward review of 35 per cent mobilisation for local contractors was initially proposed by Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North) and seconded by Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central).

The Senate, however, settled for a 30 per cent review moved by Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) and seconded by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North).

The passage of the bill was sequel to presentation and lengthy consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Public Procurement.

The Senate had debated three amendment bills sponsored by senators Shuaibu Lau (PDP, Taraba North); Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central), and Danladi Sankara (APC, Jigawa North West) two weeks ago.

The chairman of the committee, Shuaibu Lau, who presented the report, said certain amendments were made on the bills to encapsulate the ingredients of the varied views collated from experts and professionals

In a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, the Senate adopted the recommendations of the committee with slight amendments made to Section One under the Establishment of National Council on Public Procurement.

The amendment to clause one of the bill provides that the Council shall consist of a Chairman who shall be appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as against the previous provision of the 2007 Act which specifically names the Minister of Finance as Chairman.

The Senate also adopted the committee’s recommendation on the issuance of Certificate of No Objection which shall be issued by a Committee of Directors of the Bureau to the chaired by the Director-General of the Public Procurement Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the passage of the Public Procurement Bill will complement the 2020 budget set to be passed on Thursday by the Senate.

He said the bill will be forwarded to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

“What we have done today is really to put the icing on the cake on what we are about to do tomorrow by the grace of God when we pass the 2020 budget.

“We have already passed the finance bills that will ensure that we get the required revenue to implement the budget. The public procurement process in Nigeria has been a big bottleneck for some time probably since it was passed.

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“I had a discussion with the Honourable Speaker that they will concur with us before we go on the Christmas break so that we will give the executive all they would require for them to implement the 2020 budget successfully,” he said.


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