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EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede Seeks Review Of BPP Act

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20240516 051321

The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ola Olukoyede on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 called for a review of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP Act,  stressing that it will greatly enhance the anti-corruption fight.

Olukoyede, while playing host to the management team of BPP, led by Mamman Ahmadu at the EFCC corporate headquarters of the Commission, Abuja, disclosed that the BPP Act needed to be reworked in the overall interest of the nation.

“Over the years, you have been able to define certain scopes that are helping to drive our contract and procurement award processes but we still notice that there is still much more to be done.

In fact, the law has not been fully operationalized. We also discovered that the law as it is has not aided prosecution much. It has to be reviewed. I am not sure that I can remember any specific case where we secured a conviction using the provisions of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act. I am not sure that the EFCC has secured any conviction using the BPP Act. If we really mean business about sanitizing our contract and procurement award processes,  we have to do something about the BPP Act and review it in such a way that it can address some of these concerns,” he said.

Speaking further on the matter, the anti-graft czar stated that “There are so many areas where we need to sit down and examine some of the things we are doing in the interest of the country. There is a need for us to work together. The essence of prevention is that we don’t have to wait until a contract is awarded and money stolen.

The EFCC boss also expressed worry over BPP’s procedure of issuance of Certificate of No Objection to applicants on some items for procurement. “Also, the issue of Certificate of No Objection has become a thing of concern to us. We crave your indulgence to again look inwards at your processes and procedures and how the Certificate of No Objection is being given out to applicants,” he said.

While stating that the issue of contract and procurement award processes should be taken more seriously to ensure good results in the fight against corruption,  Olukoyede noted that the greatest number of corruption in public sector space in the country verge on contract and procurement.

“Having spent some time within the regulatory compliance environment and enforcement, I discovered that the greatest form of corruption is the one related to contract and procurement activities”

“And I have also come to discover that fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with Nigerians. There is no country where you won’t find people who try to vitiate and circumvent the process. Why our corruption is more pronounced is not because of the people but the system we operate. Our institutions are not strengthened to work. So, people take advantage of our weak institutions to perpetrate these things. If you take an average Nigerian to an environment where people observe compliance, you will be shocked by the spirit of excellence that would drive what he would do”, he said.

He also emphasized the primacy of collaboration between the EFCC and BPP especially in the area of prevention as an anti-corruption mechanism. “There are a few things that are of mutual concern to both agencies, especially the issue of collaboration. Like I keep saying, nobody can win this battle alone. There is a need for us to all work together both regulators and enforcers of the law. Upon my assumption of office, I made known to Nigerians a three-pronged approach to the policy directive that we are going to come up with. And one of it is to adopt preventive strategies and that was what led to the establishment of the new Directorate of Fraud Risk Assessment and Control.”

Earlier in his remarks, Ahmadu stated that the need for better collaboration between the EFCC and BPP was the motivation for the visit by his team. “The reason why I am visiting the EFCC for the second time is to seek for collaboration. In most organisations,  there are three ‘Cs’ that are very vital for successful management. They are commitment, collaboration and coordination. We are fighting corruption in our own way and we are happy to collaborate with the EFCC. Before the establishment of BPP, most procurements were carried out without a review by another agency of government”

“We get a number of letters from the EFCC, asking some questions on some procurements done if they were done well. Our officials are very committed and willing to collaborate and would like to come and shed light on some of your cases if we are invited”, he said.

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