In its effort to rid Nigerian public institutions of procurement-related fraud, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has commenced the training of public officers on how to combat the menace.
The over 130 participants, comprising mostly procurement officers drawn from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) across the country, are currently undergoing the training at ICPC’s training and research institute, the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Addressing the participants shortly before the training began, the Provost of the Academy, Professor Sola Akinrinade, who was represented by the Commissioner, Training, Uloma Olekanma, revealed that procurement in Nigeria had become a conduit pipe through which the government was sucked dry of its resources without value for money.
The Provost therefore enjoined them to take full advantage of the knowledge they would acquire and ensure that they apply it to their duties as procurement officers.
The training which is titled, “Combating Corruption in Public Procurement,” is aimed at building participants’ capacity, especially procurement officers, on ways of identifying and blocking corruption in procurement processes.
The trainees were also tasked on the need for transparency in project procurement as lack of it usually leads to high cost of projects and loss of confidence in government by the public.
It can be recalled that the last World Bank’s Country Procurement Assessment Review of Nigeria revealed that “60 kobo was lost to underhand practices out of every N1:00 spent by the Nigerian Government.”
The training is therefore intended to provide the requisite knowledge for some of the players in the procurement process to enable them to tackle the Achilles’ heel of the contract award process in the public sector in Nigeria.
The training is designed to address the many questions of integrity, transparency and accountability in procurement matters of public sector agencies.