NBA berates government for bypassing public procurement act on new refineries
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday criticised the Federal Government on its recent decision to build new refineries without open competitive bidding contrary to the public procurement act.
The National President of the NBA, Malam Abubakar Mahmoud, who spoke at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association in Lokoja, Kogi State, said many Nigerians were surprised at the decision.
According to him: “It will send wrong signals to businesses and indeed investors.”He, therefore, asked the Federal Government to revamp many of the legislations on agencies that play key role in the management of the country’s economy.
He listed the legislations that require review to include the public procurement act, the privatisation act, the infrastructure concession act and the regulatory commission act.
According to him: “There is a perception that these legislations establishing the agencies are no longer effective and have become a shadow of their past. “We urge the government to take a hard look at these laws and agencies that have direct bearing on economic management and enhancing transparency.”
The NBA president also commended Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for the three executive orders recently signed into laws aimed at removing obstacles to private businesses, government budgeting and movement of people and goods between Nigeria and other countries.
“The orders are aimed to promote transparency and efficiency in Nigeria’s business environment and support local content in public procurement, among others,” he said.He, therefore, called on the government for a diligent and effective implementation of the policies and the executive orders.
Especially with regards to timely submission of yearly budgetary estimates of the federal agencies.Besides, Mahmoud has also challenged the Federal Government on the dismal state of the Lokoja/Abuja Expressway, which had been under construction for more than 11 years.
He said: “The contract was awarded in 2006 at the cost of N42 billion. It was revised in 2011 to the cost of N116 billion and this project has remained uncompleted.“I use this opportunity to call on the federal authorities to ensure the speedy completion of this road.
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