TRACKING >>The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, has promised that the commission will continue to follow the proper public procurement procedures to ensure its funds are applied judiciously for development.
He gave the assurance at the opening of a one-week workshop for NDDC’s executive management and directors at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Brambaifa reiterated that NDDC’s mandate included delivering services that would give full value for money, noting that it was necessary for the management to be prudent in its efforts to drive development in the Niger Delta.
He said: “Our goal is clear; we want everyone to be conversant with the procurement process, because it is not something that should be left for only procurement officers. The experts have made it simple for us to understand the issues in procurement.
“I have no doubt that someday, we will fully integrate the electronic data management into our procurement system. We will adopt the electronic platform to enhance the efficiency and transparency of our processes.”
Brambaifa noted that it was important that the commission’s workers fully understood the procurement process to ensure that funds meant for development projects and programmes were judiciously utilised.
The Director for Procurement, Theophilus Alagoa, said the training was organised to enlighten officers of the commission about their roles in the procurement process.
Alagoa said: “Before now, procurement is seen as the responsibility of only those in the procurement unit. The fact is that procurement is for every officer in NDDC, and they have roles and responsibilities, as specified in the Procurement Act 2007.
“We want NDDC workers to wake up to their responsibilities by arming them with knowledge.
We noticed that a lot of people do not know their roles. In fact, every department in NDDC has the power to procure for itself. The procurement unit is only there to ensure compliance with the Public Procurement Act.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Tabriz Procurement Solutions Limited, Emeka Ezeh, who facilitated the workshop, noted that training on the processes of public procurement was very crucial for development agencies like the NDDC, because of the enormous responsibilities its workers were saddled with.
He emphasised the need for government agencies and departments to imbibe the culture of proper public procurement, noting that it was important that public procurement in the NDDC was done in the right way.
Ezeh said: “We believe that when NDDC and other key Federal Government agencies adopt the culture of proper public procurement, it will ensure that there is value for money in service delivery.”
He added that the workshop was necessary to remind NDDC directors of their responsibilities, and the need for them to always adhere to the guidelines set up by law, to ensure that public funds in their custody were judiciously expended in accordance with the laid down rules.
“To deliver on its mandate, NDDC needs to procure according to the laws, because the use of public funds is regulated by laws,” he added.