Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Government moves to review Public Procurement Act

• Mandates Fagbemi to begin process
• Steps down project memos requiring cost augmentation

The Federal Government has begun steps to review the existing Public Procurement Act in its determination to instill fiscal discipline in all expenditures.  
To this end, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, to drive the process, working with a special committee raised at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, yesterday. 
FEC also stepped down memoranda for some major projects that require additional funding, especially projects under the Federal Ministry of Works. 
While the deliberations at FEC lasted, Tinubu directed all Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) to review their intended procurements as provided for in the Appropriation Act.
The directive, according to the President, is to ensure that where there are gaps between appropriated sums and actual amount required to execute the projects, it can be brought to the attention of the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and that of Finance.
The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, who disclosed while briefing newsmen after the meeting: “Tinubu, today, in line with the desire to enhance more fiscal discipline and further demonstrate to Nigerians our commitment to serve them better, raised the issue of the reconciliation between the Appropriation Act, Public Procurement Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act. FEC has set up a committee chaired by the AGF to review the Public Procurement Act.”

MINISTER of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed the step-down to newsmen, after FEC meeting, explained that the projects affected were inherited from past administrations that needed augmentation. 
Idris stated that Tinubu directed a thorough examination of these projects to ensure probity, proficiency and diligence in their execution, adding that the review would be discussed further at the next FEC meeting.
He further disclosed that FEC directed the Minister of Works, David Umahi, to liaise with his counterparts at Budget and Economic Planning and Finance to streamline all projects contained in the memoranda for appropriate funding intervention.
“Today, we did not have many projects that were approved. But the President, in line with his thinking of ensuring probity, proficiency and diligence in project execution, directed that all projects that require additional funding, especially major projects of the Ministry of Works, be looked at once again, for further deliberation at the next council meeting,” he said.
Idris clarified that the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway and other newly approved roads were not part of the projects, but that FEC was ready to reconsider and re-prioritise most of the inherited projects under the Federal Ministry of Works while sourcing for alternative funding and re-evaluating those that could be completed.


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