The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan has stated the need for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) in the country to be given opportunities in public procurement in a bid to promote local content, curb capital flight and grow the economy.
She made the call recently at the Opening of the 2022 Procurement Retreat for Federal Permanent Secretaries, Accountant-General of the Federation (AGoF) and the Auditor General for the Federation (AGfF), with the theme, “Strengthening Public Procurement for Optimal Effectiveness”.
Noting that the Executive Order 11 on the Maintenance of National Public Buildings which ties maintenance directly to the economy also provides opportunities for artisans to get jobs, the Head of Service of the Federation harped on the need for synchronization of the Order with the Public Procurement Act.
Dr. Yemi-Esan reminded the participants that “Public Procurement is a major function of Government and the law regulating it in Nigeria exists to ensure that public funds and resources are responsibly utilised with the objective of obtaining value for money spent.”
The Head of Service also called for the bridging of identified capacity gaps of all Officers involved in the procurement cycle through frequent and adequate training, retraining, tooling and retooling and performance assessment.
Dr. Yemi-Esan further advised Chief Accounting Officers to exercise greater scrutiny and discretion prior to granting approvals for the award of contracts, which she said must be within the approved thresholds and in total conformity with other extant financial regulations.
Also speaking, the Executive Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, commended the OHCSF and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for sustaining the Annual Retreat.
He viewed Public Procurement as an indispensable and sensitive tool that must be properly deployed for the betterment of any economy. According to the Governor, Public Procurement must reflect public concerns, efficiency, transparency, cost effectiveness and above all, give value for money expended.