The Bureau of Public Procurement has said that it would soon bar contractors not captured in its database from public procurement processes.
The Director-General of the agency, Mr. Mamman Ahmadu, gave the hint on Monday during an interview with journalists at a ceremony to commemorate the 2017 International Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja.
According to him, the strengthening of contractors’ database would eliminate the incidents of fake contractors and by so doing allow credible companies to bid for and execute government contracts in accordance with stipulated standards.
While disclosing that the agency had so far captured 50,000 contractors in its database, Ahmadu noted that one of the best means of tackling the menace of corruption was by being proactive in preventing it before it occurs.
Represented by the agency’s Director of Energy, Mr. Babatunde Kuye, at the event, the BPP boss explained that when the database is completed, entities not captured in it would not be allowed to take part in any public sector contract bids at the federal level.
This is even as he said that apart from the documentary qualification, only companies that showed evidence of good job done in the past relating to any contract and also showed evidence of tax compliance would be awarded contracts
Ahmadu pointed out it had become more imperative for the government to strengthen the procurement process in the ongoing war against corruption since most corruption cases are usually perpetrated in the process of procurement.
He clarified: “As we talk, we already have 50,000 contractors who have started registration on this system. Once it is fully finished and approved, if you are not in that database, you may not be able to do any contract with the government.
“The database is going to be an open database available to anybody anywhere in the world. What this means is that if you win a contract, people will be able to go to that system to know if you have the capacity to win that kind of job. It is all about transparency and accountability.
“Our position on anti-corruption has always been clear; the best way to fight corruption is to prevent corruption. It is cheaper; it does not come with the emotion of people going through trial and prosecution”, Ahmadu added.
He described public procurement as an avenue where most of the corruption cases in public organizations are perpetrated as could be observed from all the corruption cases being prosecuted by law enforcement agencies.
The BPP chief expatiated further, saying that the management’s position “is to see if we can improve in everything that can prevent corruption; it will solve most of the problems that we have. Essentially, the responsibility falls primarily on the BPP to prevent corruption so that we do not spend money fighting corruption after they have already got away with the proceeds of corruption.
“If we do open contracting and e-procurement system successfully, corruption will almost be eradicated and that is an assurance from the BPP. Once we get it right, we will not be talking about corruption in a way that is significant in Nigeria”, Ahmadu added.