Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill passes first reading at the Senate

Sharon EboesomiJune 11, 20245 min

Government procurement or as popularly known as Public Procurement in Nigeria is governed by the Public Procurement Act 2007. 

Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill passed first reading in the Senate
Senator Osita Ngwu

The Senate has passed for first reading, a bill seeking to amend the Public Procurement Act.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West) during Tuesday’s plenary.

What is Public Procurement

Public procurement refers to the acquisition of works as well as the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods and services.

The Public Procurement Act establishes the Bureau of Public Procurement whose duties include establishing the institutional and legal framework, providing professional capacity for public procurement in Nigeria, and managing and overseeing government public procurement in Nigeria, among other things.

Prior to 2007, there was no official regulation of public procurement in Nigeria. This meant that neither the federal government nor any State had any laws governing public procurement. This changed in 2007 with the passage of the Public Procurement Act, which came about as a result of the World Bank’s proposal following its 1999 Country Procurement Assessment Report (CPAR) on Nigeria.

The Act

In order to secure the entrenchment of fairness, inclusivity, diversity, and equality in wealth creation and distribution, the Nigerian National Assembly first passed the Public Procurement Act on June 4, 2007. The Act’s main goals were to streamline bidding processes in public procurements.

Enacted in 2007, the Public Procurement Act aims to tackle the problem of fraudulent practices and excessive government and corporate involvement throughout the procurement process. This is because the main obstacle facing the procurement industry has been the problem of corruption and anomalies.

Basic provisions of the Act

The Act has a total of 61 sections in 13 parts:

-Part 1 establishes the National Council on Public Procurement which is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the other agencies and processes involved in public procurement in Nigeria.

-Part 2 establishes the Bureau for Public Procurement. It spans section 3 to section 14 and spells out the duties and powers of the Bureau, albeit not in exhaustive detail. The Bureau is directly responsible for public procurement in Nigeria.

-Part 3 has just one section, section 15, which shows the scope of application.

-Part 4 which also has only one section, section 16, makes provision for the fundamental principles for procurement.

-Part 5 which comprises section 17 to section 24 provides for the organization of procurements.

-Part 6 shows the procurement methods for goods and services.

-Part 7 talks about special and restricted methods of procurement from section 39 to section 43.

-Part 8 contains section 44 to section 52 which generally handles procurement of consultancy services.

-Part 9 discusses procurement surveillance and review in sections 53 and 54.

-Part 10 provides for proper disposal of public property in sections 55 and 56.

-Part 11 outlines the code of conduct for public procurement in section 57.

-Part 12 highlights the offences relating to public procurement in section 58.

-Part 13 contains miscellaneous provisions in sections 59, 60 and 61.

The Act was later amended in 2016 through Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North).

The major essence of the bill was to amend the existing Public Procurement Act 2007 to favour local manufacturers and ensure speedy completion of projects.

It was further amended in 2019 through the Chairman, Committee on Public Procurement in the 9th Senate, Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau (PDP, Taraba North).

The amendment which was passed by the Senate, sought to establish the National Council on Procurement (including its inauguration and Membership).

It also sought the establishment of an e-procurement model through the deployment of ICT to curtail interference in procurement systems;

It further sought the expansion of the scope of application of the Principal Act to cover Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), National Defence and Security Agencies, the National Assembly and the Judiciary; and the upward review of the mobilization fee for local contractors.

In this 10th Senate, the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Osita Ngwu has sponsored another amendment to the Act.

As the bill progresses, OrderPaper will ensure to give all necessary updates on its amendment.

STAR Check: Nigerians, particularly, constituents of Enugu west district, can keep tabs on the legislative performance of Sen. Ngwu throughout the 10th senate here.

Sharon Eboesomi

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