BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Senate on Wednesday passed the Public Procurement Act 2007 amendment bills.The passage of the Public Procurement bills by the Senate was sequel to the presentation and consideration of the report of its Committee on Public Procurement.

The three amendment bills were sponsored by Senators Shuaibu Isah (PDP, Taraba North), Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central); Danladi Sankara (APC, Jigawa North West).

While presenting the report of the Committee, it Chairman, Senator Shuaibu Isah Lau (PDP, Taraba North), said; “amendments were made on the bills to encapsulate the ingredients of the varied views collated from experts and professionals, aimed at adding value to the Procurement Act.”

In a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, the Senate adopted the recommendations proposed by the committee with slight amendments made to Section 1 under the Establishment of National Council on Public Procurement.

The amendment to clause 1 of the bill provides that the Council shall consist of a Chairman, who shall be appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as against the previous provision of the 2007 Act which specifically names the Minister of Finance as Chairman.

The Senate also adopted the committee’s recommendation on the issuance of Certificate of No Objection which shall be issued by a Committee of Directors of the Bureau to be chaired by the Director-General of the Public Procurement Bureau.

Similarly, the upper chamber considered the recommendation of the committee to review upwards the mobilization fee for local contractors from 15 to 20 percent for local contractors as insufficient. In this wise, Section 35 of the Act was amended to provide for not more than 30 percent mobilization for local contractors.

An amendment for an upward review to 35 percent mobilization for local contractors was initially proposed by Senator Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North) and seconded by Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central).

The Senate, however, settled for a 30 percent review moved by Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) and seconded by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North).

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the passage of the amendments of the Public Procurement Act, would complete the 20120 budget.

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