Senate Poised to Probe Procurement Fraud in MDAs Under Buhari

The Senate Committee Chairman on Public Procurement, Senator Monday Okpebholo, has vowed that the era of procurement fraud in federal government’s ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) has come to an end with the coming of the 10th Senate.

He, therefore, said the upper chamber would investigate activities in the procurement system since 2019 under former president Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, with the inauguration of the cabinet by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians should expect a better procurement experience that would define the renewed hope for all citizens.

The lawmaker, who also represents Edo Central Senatorial District, stated this during an interview with journalists during the reception of the newly sworn-in Minister of Niger Delta, Alhaji Abubakar Momoh, in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that his committee was set up to ensure that MDAs were aligned to a new paradigm shift, where ordinary Nigerians could bid and win contracts, unlike what was obtainable.

“Many wrongs will be corrected. We want to make sure that only qualified persons get the contract job they tendered for”, he stated.

He said that the idea of MDAs calling for bids and lining people up to a rigorous exercise only for them to be disappointed with a bias selection was wicked and unacceptable.

According to the lawmaker, “due process must be followed. We want the country to experience a new era of procurement system that is acceptable to international practice. The 10th Assembly is determined to make sure we make the desired impact.

“I can assure you that this Senate is sincere about the new deal we are bringing forward in accordance with the renewed hope of Mr President and the uncommon Senate President.”

On his preparedness to undertake the task ahead, Okpebholo assured that, as a student of Business Administration and an expert in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with an understanding of the business environment in Nigeria, he was confident to do the job deploying modern technological skills, diligence, and integrity.

He added that the committee members were highly experienced persons in governance and in business, which they would all bring to bear in the course of the work without fear or favour.

“I can assure you that my committee will investigate activities in the procurement system since 2019 and ensure we right the wrongs to regain the confidence of the public in the procurement system.

“We want a system where you don’t need to know anybody before you can bid or win contract jobs in this country. That’s the mandate we have and we are set to carry it out to the letter,” he said.