Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Joe Abba yesterday said through periodic audits of the various procurement processes of the Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had in the last seven years, saved the government N628 billion that would have been spent uneconomically by its MDAs.
He spoke at an event set aside by the United Nations (UN) to mark the international day of anti-corruption in Abuja.
According to him, last year, the BPP was able to save N98 billion from the various procurement plans of the MDAs.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, said the government was already mulling a new legislation that will provide protective cover for citizens who undertake acts of ‘whistle blowing’ to expose corrupt acts and persons in government and businesses in the country.
The anti-corruption day seminar was organised by the Inter-Agency Task Team (IMTT) which is housed through the Presidency by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Abba however said through careful audits of all federal MDAs procurement exercises, the BPP has since 2009 ensured that incidences of wasteful procurements are curtailed.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari has also directed that all queries on procurement audits issued by the BPP to any government MDAs must be answered within 24 hours of such issuance.
According to him, the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) which is domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and centralises the database system for Nigerian public service with single, accurate source of employees’ information to prevent wastage and leakages in workers remuneration has also contributed in keeping government’s funds from being fritttered away.
“The BPP has saved N628 billion in the last seven years alone starting from 2009; we have put in place processes that have reduced wastages in government’s procurement.
“In addition to ensuring that procurements are properly done, the IPPIS has also come into the system to help cut off ghost workers and save money. When it is fully rolled out, we anticipate that more checks on government workers will be done to weed out more ghost workers,” Abba said.
On audit queries, he said: “In terms of audit queries, Mr. President has directed that all audit queries must be answered within 24 hours. These are some of the measures that are in place now.”
Notwithstanding, the Vice President who was represented on the occasion by Prof. Sadiq Radda, a member of the Prof. Itse Sagay Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, said the government would be seeking the active participation of Nigerians in its fight against corrupt practices in the country.
Osibanjo noted that deliberate choice of Nigerians to keep quiet on instances of corrupt practices will rather hurt the country.