The Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) has urged all procuring entities engaged in the supply of essential items needed in the fight against the coronavirus in Nigeria to adhere to the guideline issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on the conduct of emergency procurements.
Shipments of medical supplies including COVID-19 testing kits, personal protective equipment and ventilators are coming into the country in batches as the government scrambles with others around the world to get life-saving health supplies to hospitals and keep society running amid a daily rise in infections.
Nigeria is still confirming more cases daily despite a gradual easing of lockdown in Abuja and Lagos as the toll of the contagion nears 5,000 threshold.
To ensure transparency and openness during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s procurement agency, BPP, shared a guideline on the conduct of public procurement activities by ministries, departments, and agencies.
The regulations set by BPP require all Procuring Entities to prepare Procurement Plans for all projects that specifically respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These Plans should be uploaded into the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) where it will be accessed by the BPP. They have also mandated procuring entities to ensure that no reduction of values or splitting of procurements is carried out such as to evade the use of the appropriate procurement method or thresholds.
The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation had also set a guideline detailing the framework for the management of COVID-19 Funds in Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
In a statement on Tuesday, the PPDC, a non-governmental organisation created to increase citizens’ participation in governance processes, commended efforts to improve transparency and accountability in emergency procurement for coronavirus.
The group said it will play a valuable role in helping the government in tracking and monitoring these processes to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently.
“While emergency procurements are needed, they should be made publicly available and accessible”, it said.
“We urge all MDA’s who are currently carrying out emergency procurement to implement these orders as PPDC will be actively involved with monitoring compliance to the given mandate.”