Buhari Lacks Power To Stop Ministers From Awarding Contracts – Group

PMBA Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Organising Greater Nigeria, has said President Muhammadu Buhari does not have the power to stop ministers from being involved in the contract-awarding process.
According to the group, the process of awarding contract cannot be changed by “a single-man policy decision” without the amendment of the law by the National Assembly.
It noted that though ministers were not the awarding entities, they were however an integral part of the process under the law.
The group’s Executive Director, Mr. Nuhu Aliyu made this known in a chat with journalists in Abuja on Friday while reacting to a statement credited to President Buhari that as part of his anti-corruption drive, ministers would no longer be involved in the contract-awarding process.
Aliyu said, “We note with concern a recent statement by President Buhari to the effect that ministers will no longer award contracts, without a comprehensive policy explanation on how he intends to award contract to conform to the tenets of the law.
“We are worried that the President may be taking us back to pre-1984 where contracts were awarded at the discretion of the Head of State.
“The President may note that under the democratic dispensation and since coming to effect of the Due Process Act of 2007, no minister awards any contract, and certainly not even under the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but by due process of the law.
“The law stipulates that the process of contract award commences with the Ministries, Department and Agencies (otherwise known as procurement entities), which must advertise the contracts in at least two national dailies and carry out open, transparent and competitive bidding in the presence of the media and civil society organisation and the result announced openly”.
The group said that based on this, the MDAs, through their respective ministers, make recommendations to the Bureau of Public Procurement which further assesses the request and recommends to the Federal Executive Council for award.
“The President should note that he cannot continue to make or take policy decisions on behalf of the Nigerian people without a properly constituted Federal Executive Council whose duty is to subject all Federal Government’s policies to rigorous debate and arrived at decision before pronouncement and implementation”, it noted.

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