The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has disclosed that it saved N26.86 billion for the Federal Government in 2018, through a downward review of inflated contracts by the ministries and agencies of government.

According to the Bureau’s annual reportthe total amount saved stemmed from the review of contracts awarded to contractors by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Central Bank of Nigeria before being given a certificate of “No Objection’’ by the bureau. 

The report shows that out of the inflated amount saved, the highest amount of N22.22 billion was recorded from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The money was saved from an initial request of N877.40 billion.

The report reads: “Contracts earlier approved under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was reduced from N278.91 billion to N278.64 billion, resulting in savings of about N271 million. 

N1.37 billion was saved on projects from the Ministry of Transportation from an initial request of N76.22 billion and from the Ministry of Water Resources, N521 million was saved out of N13.12 billion. 

Also, from the Ministry of Finance, N143.72 million was saved from a request of N3.54 billion, while N33.65 million was saved from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) initial request of N1.47 billion. 

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It was further disclosed that the sum N494.96 million was saved from various military contracts from an initial request totalling N123.82 billion for the procurement of critical equipment. 

In addition, savings of about N8.04 million was made from various contracts under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior, from an initial request of N9.23 billion.  

Lastly, the procurement bureau also saved N104 million out of an initial request of N936.75 million by Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the procurement of broadcast equipment for 2019 general elections. 

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More details: According to the Bureau, the public procurement activities in most MDAs are laced with secrecy and not in line with international best practices. While providing further details, BPP noted that the reported cases being prosecuted in the courts by the EFCC and the ICPC were clear testimony of the breaches in the MDAs.  

“The degree of the reported cases being prosecuted in the courts by the EFCC and the ICPC are clear testimony of the breaches in the MDAs. 

“As observed in most cases, the procurement officers collude with the contractors and service providers to breach certain provisions of the BPP Act for their selfish reasons. 

“These breaches range from faulty bid solicitation process, advance exposure of the bidding criteria to their preferred bidders and overlooking forged procurement statutory documents during the technical and financial bid process. 

“They also give out in-house prices of contracts to their preferred contractors and service providers which serve as an advantageous guide in their financial bidding, among other numerous breaches of the Act. 

“Procurement officers, who are known to be colluding with the bidders to breach the Act, have not been reprimanded enough to deter them from their offences,’’ the Bureau reports. 

Meanwhile, the report showed that no savings were made from contracts under the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. 

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