Procurement Practitioners in Lagos parastatals and ministries have canvassed for an increase in the project mobilisation fee for contractors from 20 percent as proposed in the procurement amendment bill to 70 percent so as enhance quick delivery of projects in the state.
The practitioners, said this, at the stakeholders meeting organised by the House Committee on Finance of the Lagos State House of Assembly which was held at the Assembly Complex, Ikeja, Lagos.
A project engineer, Dr. John Ekundayo, who hailed the lawmakers, added that even with 40 per cent proposed advance payment, there were still some hiccups which affect projects delivery due to the nature of payment.
Ekundayo said: “40 per cent is good but there are some key projects that required even more. Some projects are key and need more to ensure quick delivery. I suggest 70 per cent.”
Deputy Director, Procurement in the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Bunmi Oladipupo, said there was a need to change the tittle of the head of the agency to Director General or Permanent Secretary as against General Manager.
Mt Fatai Idowu of the Public Procurement Agency, urged the house to make 40 per cent mobilisation fees maximum because of numerous projects that might be begging attention.
“Let 40 per cent be maximum but it could be less so as not to affect other projects. When we evaluate, we must consider financial capacity,” he said.
A local government official, Mr. Mumini Olawale, called for domestication of the law for local government to work more efficiently.
Earlier, in his opening speech, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt(Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Ehinlokun-Sanni, explained that there was need for the procurement Practitioners to look at the amendment bill critically so as to encompass all aspects of global procurement principles when it is passed.
Obasa stated that the review was aimed at making the law more functional and ensure that people-oriented projects were delivered speedily in good quality.
He said that the procurement was all about accountability, probity as well as reduction of corruption.
Obasa said that the house wanted to work for the people of Lagos by having a procurement law that with serve the people and ensure speedy delivery of infrastructural projects.
“There are projects that require speedy completion. The delivery of government projects within reasonable time is key to the house.
“Our people desire services as earlier as possible. There are projects the government wants to finish in time, 20 percent (advance payment) cannot work again, the law has to be dynamic.
“We will ensure increase in the mobilisation fee for projects. The job cannot be completed in time with 20 per cent mobilisation. We cannot forget that our people need to do jobs and their capacity is limited.
“Government money should be accounted for and should also be used for what it is meant for. We want procurement in Lagos to be seamless and work for the people,” he said.
Overviewing the bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the House has identified 10 laws of the state to be reviewed to give Lagosians a cleaner and more functional laws for the benefit of the people.
He said that the amendment affected section 4, which affected appointment of the Board by the Governor subject to the confirmation of the House to have best hands.
He added that the amendment also included a new section 5 whcih states that:”The Chairman and members of the board shall hold office for a term of three years and may be reappointed for a further term of three years only “.
The proposed amendment also affected section 18, 19, 31, 32, 33 and 63 of the Principal Law which deleted 20 per cent of advanced payment and replaced by 40 per cent considering the present reality.
Meanwhile, the Chairman House Committee on Finance , Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, in his welcome speech, pointed out that the House was looking at the some
that laws of the state to make them better, said the procurement law was very important to have a better state because of its links to the infrastructural projects in the state.
“For us not to have continue abandoned projects, we need to consider this law, we need your full contributions. It is part of our duties to amend our laws to weigh the impact of every law and review them whenever necessary.
“One of this is advance payment in the award of contracts for projects from 20% to 40%. That is one of the major amendment. We are here to listen to the stakeholders and we will weigh the importance of their inputs.
“We want procurements to go on without hindrance. One of the main ingredients of the economy is the government as the biggest spenders,” he added.
In his words, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Akinyemi Ashade, described the proposed amendment as ‘progressive and proactive’.
According to him, the Board of the Procurement Agency has also considered an amendment to the law to aid performance in terms of transparency and speedy implementation of projects.
Ashade said that the public procurement, apart from ensuring accountability and probity, it also ensures value for money and speedy delivery of projects.