Stakeholders Unite to Combat Procurement Corruption in Nigeria

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By Ify Onyekwere

In a significant move towards tackling the rampant issue of procurement corruption in Nigeria, a one-day event titled “Procurement Corruption in Nigeria: The Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward” brought together a diverse array of stakeholders. Organized by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and think tanks dedicated to eradicating corruption, this event addressed the critical challenges surrounding procurement practices in the country.

Representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ofen-Imu A. Sunday, the Acting Deputy Director in Charge of Special Duties, underscored the profound impact of corruption, particularly in procurement, on Nigeria’s development. Sunday stated that an astounding 70% of corruption cases in Nigeria are intricately tied to procurement, making it a focal point in the battle against corruption.

Highlighting the importance of professionalism in procurement, Aliyu Mohammed Jimoh, Registrar/CEO of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management Of Nigeria (CIPSMN), questioned the practice of entrusting critical roles to unqualified individuals. He emphasized that expertise and knowledge in the field are essential, advocating for periodic reviews and resolutions to address issues of professionalism.

Mohammed Bougei Attah, the event organizer and National Coordinator of the Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, stressed the urgent need for public education. He pinpointed the absence of audits in procurement processes as contributing to corruption, emphasizing the importance of transparency.

Dr Lanre Adebayo, Director-General of the Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa, commended the collaboration between government agencies and non-state actors in addressing procurement corruption. He underscored the significant gap between these sectors and stressed the need for sustained engagement. Dr Adebayo emphasized that tackling corruption goes beyond enforcement, requiring education and awareness-raising to create an environment where corruption is discouraged.

Ibiam O. Oguejiafo, National Coordinator of the Strategy Implementation Task Force for Presidential Executive Order, brought attention to the need for professionals in procurement to be duly registered and qualified. He referred to Presidential Executive Order Number Five, which mandates the registration of professionals practising in Nigeria. Oguejiafo highlighted the importance of setting high standards and professionalism in procurement as a crucial step toward effectively preventing corruption.

The event served as a pivotal platform for various stakeholders to come together and address the pervasive issue of procurement corruption in Nigeria. The speakers collectively emphasized the critical roles of professionalism, education, and collaboration in the ongoing battle against corruption. They underscored the need for a proactive approach to prevent corruption rather than merely reacting to it, signalling a potential turning point in Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

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