FEC approves N1.6bn for e-Government Procurement Platform to check corruption

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…approves $2m for West African Power Pool

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved N1.6 billion for the establishment of e-Government Procurement Platform to address corrupt practices in government’s procurement system.

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mamman Ahmadu, said the new platform would help eliminate corruption as well as enhance the country’s procurement process.

He said: “Today, BPP presented a memo on e-government procurement. E-government procurement has the potential of improving procurement process, eliminate corruption and reduce the leak time in the procurement process itself.

“There have been a lot of complaints about the long time it takes to go through the due process. With the establishment of this, we will reduce that time.

“It also removes subjectivity from the process. There have been lots of complaints about subjectivity in the approval process that will be dealt with squarely when it is eventually launched,” he said.

According to him, the step taken by government is in line with current global trend.

“E-government procurement is a global trend and from the research carried out by the World Bank, it had been established that countries that have taken off with e-government procurement have witnessed exponential economic growth and they have stimulated ICT in those countries.

“It will reduce corruption to the barest minimum because it will reduce the human interface within the process. The overall cost is about N1.6 billion,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the Council approved Nigeria’s contribution of $2 million to the 2020 budget of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

He expressed the hope that the contribution would in turn generate income for Nigeria, to cushion the dwindling oil revenue.

According to him, the power pool being a common entity of countries in the West Africa, plays a role of coordination and synergy among countries, as well as boosting electricity supply in the region.

Mamman also said the regional power pools would be of great assistance in case the national grid of any of the member states fails.

The specialized pool covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra.

The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created by a decision at the 22nd Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government in 1999.

At the 29th Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Niamey, in 2006, it adopted the Articles of Agreement for WAPP organisation and functions.

According to Saleh, participation in the regional market will generate immediate foreign exchange for Nigeria as oil revenue is dwindling.

“The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS, it’s for the generation of electricity in the region, so as to have more constant and steady power supply. It’s like the national grid in Nigeria, so we are going to have regional grid. It means in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement. The $2 million is a contribution.”

Mohammed said: “The West African power pool is made up of all west African countries because each member state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across the pool. Because, the consequence is that if there is a problem in one country it could inadvertently affect the other country.

“This was created in 1999 by authorities of the West African Heads of State. It’s a common pool and every country has its own section and our contribution for this year is $2 million. It’s not as if we are giving $2 million to ECOWAS, we are simply paying our own contribution to the transmission from Nigeria to other wear African countries and viz-visa.”