Date Published: 11/13/10
CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PURCHASING & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIA (CIPSMN)
(RIVERS / BAYELSA STATE CHAPTER).
PRESS RELEASE. 11 th November, 2010
RE: THE CLAIM BY THE DG OF THE RIVERS STATE BUREAU FOR PUBLIC PROCUREMENT, THAT PROCUREMENT PROFESSIONALS IN RIVERS STATE ARE IGNORANT OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE BUREAU: A failed Attempt to Justify Quackery in the State Public Procurement Bureau.
On the 11 th of November 2010, the Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors held a workshop at Beverly Hills Hotel in GRA as part of their week long programme on “Good governance and procurement”. We attended the programme, though not invited, but attended based on the general invitation to the public on Rhythm 93.7 FM (radio), on Saturday the 6 th of November, 2010, and to show brotherhood amongst diverse professionals.
On arrival, the Director General of the State Bureau for Public Procurement, while delivering his lecture stated that the procurement professionals in Rivers State are ignorant of the bureau’s functions as contained in the State procurement law. We consider this statement an exhibition of their lack of professional knowledge that further justify their quackery in the Bureau and a confirmation of the fact that the leadership of the Bureau is unaware of their mandate as procurement managers.
Therefore, as the owners of the body of academic and professional knowledge in the practise of procurement in Nigeria, we are duty-bound to continue to educate, enlighten and inform them of the fact that only professional certified procurers are the custodians of the State procurement law and the office he is occupying illegally, immorally and unprofessionally.
It is important to note that the CIPSMN Act No. 21 of 2007 which is in line with section 4(2 & 5) read together with Part I, item number 49 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, prohibits any person who is not a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN) from heading any procurement organization in Nigeria, and to the best of our knowledge, the DG of the Bureau is not qualified to practice procurement in Nigeria and has been appointed in violation of section 5(1) of the state procurement law as there was no public advertisement to the best of our knowledge, for the position of DG Bureau for public procurement in Rivers State. It is also imperative to state here that in line with the constitution of Nigeria, the Rivers State public procurement law is subject to the CIPSMN Act and particularly section 11 (9 ) concerning the practice and or the professional qualifications of a person to be engaged as the Director General of the Bureau.
On the claim that they are not involved in procurement proceedings, we will want to ask what they understand by procurement proceeding? Section 58 of the State Public Procurement Law (State PPL) defined it as follow: “Procurement Proceedings means the initiation of the process of effecting procurement up to award of a procurement contract”.
The second question is, does the Bureau get involved in the procurement proceedings MDAs also known as procuring entities in the State? Our answer is yes, because, section 14 (2) of the State PPL states that no money will leave the State treasury for major contract award, except the request “is accompanied by a certificate of “No Objection” TO AN AWARD OF CONTRACT duly issued by the Bureau”.
For clarity sake: “A Certificate of No Objection” is defined by procurement professionals all over the world, including the Rivers State Procurement Regulation No. 1 of 2010 (section 4), to mean “the document evidencing and authenticating that due processand the letters of a procurement law have been followed in the conduct of a procurement proceeding and allowing for the procuring entity to enter into contract or effect payments to contractors or suppliers from the Treasury”.
It is important to state here that it is the function of the Bureau to formulate procurement policies and guidelines; supervise the implementation of established policies; monitor the prices of tendered items and keep a database of standard prices; prepare and update standard bidding and contract documents; prevent fraudulent and unfair procurement; perform procurement audit; etc, section 3(a, c, d, i, m and o) of the State procurement law applies, in addition to the signing and issuing of certificates of no objection before contracts can be awarded. However, it is instructive to note that the functions stated above are functions that are to be performed by people who are professionals in the field of procurement and not quacks, mediocres and charlatans who are masquerading as regulators who are regulating a professional practice / function they are not qualified to practise by law in Nigeria. Consequently, we challenge the Director General to a public debate on their functions as contained in the law, vis-a-vis international procurement best practices as this will enable Rivers people and all other Nigerians to know who the real master ignoramus and usurper is.
Furthermore, before the award of any major contract the Bureau must see and go through the advertisement for the particular transaction, see the bid documents tendered by all the bidders and review same, see the records of the bid / procurement proceedings and must be satisfied with what it has seen as procurement professionals, before a certificate of no objection can be issued to an MDA to award a contract, otherwise, the MDA cannot award the contract. These steps are called procurement professional pre award audit.
How can a legal practitioner formulate medical policies for medical doctors and thereafter supervise the doctors and also go further to sign death and other medical certificates including certificates of neurosurgeries; or can an engineer become the chief judge of a State judiciary and make policies for the practice of law (for legal practitioners) and thereafter regulate / supervise the lawyers, magistrates and judges, and also audit the practice of law in Rivers State or elsewhere?
The Bureau for public procurement is a professional office that is meant to be occupied mainly by procurement professionals while sector specialists like lawyers, engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, accountants, etc can assist the procurement professionals in the Bureau. Some typical examples can be seen in the following professional offices like: the office of the Accountant General, Auditor General, Surveyor General, Solicitor General, etc, these offices are all being headed and mainly populated by professionals who are registered and qualified to practise the respective professions in Nigeria.
The Rivers State Bureau for Public Procurement as presently headed and staffed is more of a political procurement Bureau and not a professional procurement Bureau that can give Rivers people the desired value for money at the right price and quality.
We strongly advise Rivers people to ask anybody who comes to enlighten them about public procurement, to please confirm that the speakers/campaigners are certified procurement professionals, qualified to practise the profession here in Nigeria before they teach others, this is to avoid being mis-educated, misinformed and confused.
We advise the Bureau to tell the public the truth and should also avail the public with the opportunity of having copies of the State public procurement law as the law is still not in circulation. How can the Bureau sensitise anybody or group of persons without giving them copies of the said law first? What is the website address of the Bureau?
Finally, we are calling on the DG to honourably resign immediately, on the following grounds: One, to allow for due process in compliance with section 5(1) of the state procurement law, which requires that, the position be advertised for competitive selection to take place, and to the best of our knowledge, that position was not made public before it was filled, and to also comply with the CIPSMN Act. Two, for show of gross procurement professional misconduct and manifestation of incompetence. And above all, for gross violation of section 11 (9), 16 (2, 4 & 5) and 20 (paragraphs 9 & 10) of the CIPSMN Act No. 21 of 2007.
For and on behalf of the State Chapter.
Biebele E. Arimie, MCIPSN
State Chapter Chairman