Awka – Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Tenders Board and Procurement says the poor enforcement of the state procurement law by the Transition Committee Chairmen in charge of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, is capable of undermining accountability and transparency in the various areas.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr Chuka Ezenwunne disclosed this on Monday during an oversight interaction with the TC Chairmen.
When the TC Chairmen were invited recently to appear before the House Committee, they were requested to present key documents which include list of capital projects, procurement plan of LGAs, cash flows, evidence of due process and adverts for contract bidding.
Documents provided during the session revealed that the Council bosses have been engaging in direct labour for procurement and contracting processes in contrast with the State’s Procurement Law 2011.
According to Ezenwunne, the procurement and contracting processes of the various LGAs is totally unacceptable to the State Legislature, as available records of the LGAs showed that they had been engaging directly in procurement and contracting processes.
“This is against the due process as stipulated in the State’s Procurement Law 2011 as amended.
“The Committee has a duty to monitor and ensure that Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and the LGs follow due process in their procurement and contracting processes.
“The essence is to help government to save money, fight corruption, block leakages, promote transparency and accountability in the public procurement process for the purpose of good governance, which is the hallmark of any serious system,” he said.
Ezenwunne said the committee would write to the state’s Bureau of Public Procurement to organise training for procurement personnel of MDAs and LGAs on the provisions of the procurement law.
In his words, “The training is necessary so that they can understand what the law requires of them and do the needful. By next year, we will not be lenient with any defaulting LGA.
`If we get this right, it will promote efficiency, transparency, accountability and value for money in the public procurement process.”
Reacting on behalf of the Chairmen, Mr Nnamdi Nwadiogbu of Oyi LGA apologized to the committee, promising that they would go back and enforce the law on procurement.