By Olalekan Adetayo
The Federal Government on Tuesday publicly administer oaths on procurement officers in the directorate cadre of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in its bid to ensure that they conduct transparent procurement exercise during the implementation of the 2014 Budget.
The Punch reports that the oath was conducted on them during a meeting the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Emeka Ezeh, had with the officers in Abuja.
A lawyer administered the oath on Ezeh, who in turn administered same on the management of the BPP, and other officers from the MDAs.
The BPP boss said government decided to administer the oath of allegiance publicly to let Nigerians know that they were committed to conducting a transparent procurement exercise and putting selfish interest aside while implementing the 2014 Budget.
The officials were made to swear that in compliance with Part XI, Section 57 Subsection 2 and 3 of the Public Procurement Act 2007, they would be governed at all times by the principles of honesty, accountability, transparency, fairness and equity.
They vowed that they would use the best of their abilities and endeavours “to discharge their responsibilities in a way and manner that promotes the objectives of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and policies and regulations consistent with the 1999 Constitution and other laws applicable.”
The officials also vowed that they would not “take advantage of any information that comes to them for any personal gains or extort money or blackmail a party/bidder of the procurement proceeding.”
Ezeh later told journalists that the meeting was the first in the series of workshops his office intended to have with procurement officers to ensure that 2014 budget was implemented 100 per cent.
He said the administration of oath of allegiance to all procurement officers was aimed at pricking the officials’ conscience.
Aside from the oath, Ezeh said procurement officers were constantly under monitoring by security agencies to ensure that people who lived above their means were fished out and interrogated.
He disclosed that another meeting would hold in June or July to assess the officials’ performance and their challenges with a view to enhancing their capacity.
Ezeh said although those who were not present during the oath-taking were minimal but they would be given another opportunity to take the oath.
He said, “We have just called them to re-focus their attention on the need for them to plan ahead of time. Luckily the budget has just been passed, we need to remind them that it is for the interest of this country that the budget is implemented.”