The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has described as alarming the rate of procurement frauds in public service in Nigeria.
He stated this in his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the Year 2021 First Batch Conversion Training Programme to Procurement Cadre for Federal Parastatals and Agencies organized the Bureau of Public Procurement on Monday, May 24, 2021 at Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos.
Bawa, who was represented by Mohammed Ahmed Ghali, Head, Lagos Zonal Office, EFCC, added that many procurement professionals in federal institutions were not aware of the potholes that must be avoided in the discharge of their duties.
He, therefore, lauded the organizers of the training, saying, “when public officers are rightly informed or armed with the requisite knowledge to enhance their performances on their jobs, the likelihood of getting involved in fraudulent acts or corrupt practices will be minimal; and the society will be the greatest beneficiary.
“It is, therefore, in order and encouraging that, since 2008, the BPP, as empowered by the Public Procurement, PPA Act 2007, has consistently organized training and development programmes for procurement professionals in all Federal Government institutions.
“That the conversion training has been sustained for 13 good years-since it started in 2008- is evidence of the importance that the organizers attach to the fight against corruption in Nigeria. “
Bawa, who further described the BBP as an ally in the anti-corruption war, added that the Procurement Fraud Section of the EFCC was established to check procurement fraud in the public sector.
According to him, “As you may have read in the news, a number of procurement officers in public institutions have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms after diligent prosecution by the Commission, and many are still facing trial in various courts across the country .”
Bawa urged the participants to take maximum advantage of the training so as to be better procurement officers.