• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Presidency names Omotola, Acting DG, BPP

The Presidency, on Friday named Olusegun Omotola, as the acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

Omotola, a lawyer, was before his appointment, the agency’s Director, Legal Services in the Bureau.

A statement by Janet McDickson, the Director of Information and Public Relations, BPP, said Omotola, who hails from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, got his (L.L.B Hons), Bachelor of Law, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria in 1991.

Omotola, a seasoned administrator, attended many courses and seminars in capacity building, Contract Negotiations, Drafting and Management, Computer Hardware and Operating System, Total Quality Management, Infrastructure Development, Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure and Services Seminar, Effectives Leadership and Change Management, Office Routine and Work Ethics in High impact Leadership.

“He also, had trainings in Maintaining Acceptable Financial Management for Sustainable Development in the Public Sector, Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) amongst many others.

“He represented the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the Ajaokuta Project Presidential implementation Team, Sub-Committee, set up to verify the outstanding Federal Government Liabilities generated by the Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Ores Mining Company, Itakpe, in Kogi state in July 2020 – August 2021.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and member, Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (representing the Federal Ministry of Finance).

He has also served in several other federal government organisations before his posting to the Bureau.

“Omotola, who is the most senior Director in the Bureau, took over from the former DG, Mamman Ahmadu, FNIQs, who was relieved of his appointment by President, Bola Tinubu, on June 15 2024”.

The acting director-general of the Bureau of Public Procurement (B
is taking over the agency at a time the organisation is facing unresolved litany of abandoned projects which are estimated at 60,000.

The BPP which was established in 2007 has the responsibilities of ensuring probity, accountability and transparency in the procurement process, while establishing pricing standards and benchmarks. It was also set up to ensure the application of fair, competitive, and transparent standards and practices for the procurement and disposal of public assets.

The House of Representatives puts the number of abandoned projects at 60,000 but the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN) estimates them at 56,000.

Public sector experts, including Adetokunbo Kayode, a former minister who served in several ministries, have charged the acting DG on the need to initiate far reaching reforms in the agency

Kayode, while speaking with BusinessDay in a recent interview, stated that it has always amounted to waste of time to bring procurement issues before the FEC.

Kayode, who also served as president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, stressed the need to have an efficient procurement process under the new leadership.
“Everybody wants an efficient procurement process,” he said.
According to him, “The political will to drive it has not been there and that is why the place has appeared to be a cesspool of corruption.”
He blamed the challenges in the nation’s procurement sector on “inefficiency in the government.”
“You need to strengthen the procurement process by removing procurement issues from items to be discussed at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council FEC. Let FEC concentrate on debating policy matters and their executions. As a matter of fact, contributions to policy debates should form part of the minister’s assessment.”
The former minister stressed the need to ensure that funds for the execution of every project is made available before it is awarded.
The former minister said the new BPP helmsman must remove all bottlenecks in the contract process, adding that “ the 18 conditions lined up for getting a contract are too cumbersome.”

“The BPP needs to concentrate on the procurement process as about 99 percent of those that get the jobs do not have those papers and the paperwork does not make for transparency.

“Look at the Abuja -Loyola Road. It has taken several years, yet the project has not been executed. The Galaxy Backbone building took over 14 years to complete. But the six-storeyed building at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce took only two years to complete.

So, the best way to tackle the challenges of augmentations, abandoned projects caused by delays is to ensure that the government awards contracts for projects with all the money available and stop the idea of approving variation or augmentations once all the money has been made available,” he added.

Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani), a civil society advocate, called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately inaugurate the National Council on Procurement.

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