The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate alleged indiscriminate issuance of “certificate of no objection” by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
Consequently, it mandated its Committee on Bureau of Public Procurement to probe the allegation and report back within five weeks.
This followed the adoption of a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema (Anambra-PDP).
Moving the motion, Onyema accused the BPP of engaging in underhand dealings with respect to the grant of certificate-of-no-objection over contracts awarded by relevant procurement entities.
According to him, sections (6) (1) (c) and 16 (1) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007, empowers the BPP to issue certificates-of-no-objection for contracts awarded by procurement entities.
He said, “The vesting of this power on the BPP is aimed at ensuring that the provisions of the Public Procurement Act are complied with, the government obtains value for money, contracts within relevant thresholds and backed by budgetary allocations.
“However, the BPP has consistently engaged in underhand dealings with respect to the grant of certificate-of-no-objection, thereby abusing the power of pecuniary gains.
“Such abuse and violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007 have been exacerbated by the recent increase in arbitrary nominations to procuring entities of winners for tendering processes.
“And, where the procuring entity declines, the process is interjected and frustrated in bad faith and for flimsy reasons.”
He warned that BPP was likely to transform itself from a regulator to disruptor if steps were not taken to investigate the allegation and address any infraction.
In his contributing, the Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor (Delta-PDP), backed the call for the investigation to promote transparency and accountability in the procurement process.
According to Ogor, if not checked, the alleged malpractices will endanger the entire public procurement system in the country.
“There is need to stop this whole unacceptable idea, because a stitch in time saves nine,” Ogor added.