By Daniels Nwokike, The Sight News
Abuja-With procurement being identified as the most problematic area in public sector administration by experts, the Nigerian Army (NA) have taken a proactive step to mitigate this problem by organizing its first procurement seminar in Abuja.
The Seminar with the theme “Enhancing Nigerian Army Operations Through Effective Procurement System”,is aimed at preparing and enlightening officers on the procurement system to meet the procurement needs of the Nigerian Army.
Speaking in his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Amb. D.N Sheni, who also doubled as the special guest of honour expressed his delight in the promptness of the seminar and its theme which is very apt as it captures the essence of government directives and orders concerning public procurement.
Amb. Sheni who was represented by Director of Procurement, Ministry of Defence, Engr. Micheal Chukwura noted that the government recently prohibited officers of other cadre from procurement functions and salutes the Army for their foresight in building the capacity of its procurement cadre.
He said, “The Nigerian Army and indeed the Services should be guided by the Executive Order 3/2017 which directed MDA’s to give priority to local industries in their procurement”.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. T.Y Buratai, the chief host of the event, said that the seminar became necessary because of the identified irregularities witnessed in the past on the procurement of NA’s platforms and logistics which resulted in substandard and unserviceable platforms with an attendant effect on troops morale and the outcome of operations.
While acknowledging the long chain in procurement processes, the Army chief, represented by the Director Policy and Plans(Army), Maj. Gen. C.A. Jemitola reiterated that the Army will not relent in keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination in stamping out corruption and irregularities in the Nigerian public service and other areas by streamlining the procurement process to comply with the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 and its implementation.
In line with this, Buratai directed Army Headquarters, Department of Policy and plans to establish procurement offices in the corps and divisions headquarters to coordinate procurement at that level and collate procurement needs to Army headquarters.
Also speaking, the Director Procurement Office of the COAS, Brig. Gen. E.F Edafioghor appreciated the resolve of the COAS in streamlining the NA procurement with the provisions of the PPA 2007 which made it necessary for the seminar to be held in order to prepare the officers to effectively run the affairs of the offices established for the purpose of procurement.