The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has commenced a four-day training of procurement officers and other selected staff of the agency on procurement process to enhance service delivery of the agency.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the procurement capacity building – batch b workshop themed “Strengthening procurement processes in NASENI system-wide” organised by the agency and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) at the agency’s headquarters at the Idu Industrial Area, Abuja, today (August 22, 2022), NASENI’s executive vice chairman, Prof. Mohammed Haruna said the training is aimed at enhancing the understanding of procurement processes for participants.
The NASENI boss posited that the training is to ensure that extra care is taken in carrying out procurement activities in the agency and also to update concerned officers on the need to follow procedures on procurement laws to get value for money spent by the Federal Government on any project.
Represented by the agency’s coordinating director for business and planning development, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi, Haruna pointed out that the Federal Government, through its agencies, award contracts through the procurement processes and NASENI is no exception; therefore, adherence to the Procurement Act 2007 is very cardinal. In order not to breach the Public Procurement Act 2007 NASENI contacted the BPP for capacity-building which gave rise to the system-wide training in NASENI.
“The procurement officers are the drivers and operators of the procurement processes and this makes this training very necessary. The agency needs to conform to all procurement regulations and the Public Procurement Act 2007. This training will help increase the knowledge and understanding of the participants to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007; Further build and develop their capacity in procurement processes to ensure that the professionalism in the process is given the first priority that will uphold the vision and mandate of the agency to the nation’s development.
“With our new status of being supervised by the president, we know that extra care is needed for effective delivery. We cannot afford to leave any stone unturned in ensuring that the right thing is done with the special fund allocated to the agency. We are obligated to be accountable and to follow due process,” he added.
In his keynote address, the BPP director-general, Alhaji Mamman Ahmadu said the agency had made giant strides in eradicating corruption in the procurement level since the enactment of the Public Procurement Act in 2007.
Represented by the bureau’s director, energy infrastructure, Babatunde Kuye, Ahmadu observed that procurement makes public officers vulnerable to corrupt practices because of the interface in the contracting process.
“There are provisions for sanctions when one violates the procurement law. Procurement is one of the easiest ways to make money and, also, the easiest path to jail. If you don’t follow the rules and you are caught, you will go to jail. Public procurement is a serious business and getting it right will help our country. This is a tough time and we must use our resources well. Therefore, we at BPP are more interested in public officers getting it right,” he added.
In his comments, the director, procurement, NASENI, Dr. Mohammed Mohammed, emphasised that procurement is everybody’s business, thus everything humanly possible must be done to get it right.
“Doing it right will be better for all of us. People from the accounts department, store and internal auditors are in this group because we felt that this team will synchronise to make the work of the procurement office easier. We felt that for any training like this we need to have them around so that we will flow in implementing what we are expected to do, in line with Public Procurement Act 2007,” he added.
Recall that NASENI in partnership with the BPP organised the first phase of the training exercise for NASENI Tenders Board members, managing directors and heads of procurement of NASENI institutes which was held in June this year. The second phase which drew participants from various key/strategic departments of the agency had over 100 participants in attendance.