The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is collaborating with the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, to train management and procurement liaison officers on ways to change and reform the Commission’s procurement processes.
The NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, who spoke at a two-day workshop on Public Procurement Reform at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, said that the training would fully arm them with the sound principles of public procurement.
Akwa said: “The workshop is the first necessary step to redirect our procurement processes and ensure compliance, transparency and consequently better service delivery.”
He expressed confidence that the required reforms in NDDC would be achieved when management and liaison officers involved in public procurement applied the right principles in their various departments.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that apart from deepening collaboration with the BPP, the workshop would rekindle stakeholders’ confidence because it signified concerted efforts to improve the Commission’s procurement practices.
He affirmed that as a procurement entity of the Federal Government, the NDDC was required to carry out public procurement since it derived at least 35 per cent of its funds from the Federal Government’s share of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Akwa assured that he would ensure that all procurements in the NDDC were carried out in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
He noted: “Public procurement in the NDDC had many challenges in the past, ranging from the interference of the political class in public procurement; user departments taking over the duties of the procurement unit; as well as inadequate storage facility for procurement documentation.”
As a result of these challenges, he said, the BPP in its recently concluded procurement audit exercise on the NDDC, wrote on the issues noticed in the procurement processes, and recommended that procurements in the Commission should be carried out in line with the provisions in the law.
The NDDC boss stated that the anomalies and challenges regarding public procurement in the Commission, had been addressed, assuring that the Interim Administration would ensure that all the recommendations of the BPP were carried out.
In his remarks, the representative of the Director-General of BPP, Engr. Aliyu Aliyu, said the bureau was willing to partner and assist the NDDC to achieve its goals of facilitating the development of the Niger Delta region.
He emphasised the need for procurement to be carried out professionally, commending the NDDC for organising a training to ensure compliance with the extant laws in its procurement activities.
Aliyu noted that the high-level training would enable the NDDC directors and liaison officers to meet the challenges of the public procurement reforms.
Speaking earlier, the NDDC Director of Procurement, Mr. Ndudi Enebeli, said that the workshop was a platform for a fresh effort at sanitising the Commission’s procurement processes.
He declared that the two-day training would help the directors and relevant officers to ensure that due process was followed in all public procurements at the Commission.