The Bureau of Public Procurement and the Defence Headquarters say they are collaborating towards ensuring that due process is complied with in the procurement of military hardware.
Compliance with relevant requirements of the procurement law was the focus of a talk between the Director-General of the BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, and the Director of Procurement, Defence Headquarters, Maj. Gen. J. O. Oni, when the latter paid a courtesy visit to the Burineau’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
Recall that in a recent report, BPP revealed that, in 2018, it saved the sum of N494.96m from various military contracts after revising inflated contract sums submitted by government contractors for the purchase of military equipment.
The N495.96m was saved from submitted military equipment contract sums totalling N123.82bn.
Speaking during a meeting with the delegation from the Defence Headquarters, Ahmadu appreciated efforts being made by the Nigerian Army to ensure that its procurement activities complied with the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
He also commended the military authorities for seeking more enlightenment and understanding of the public procurement process.
However, the BPP boss said Nigeria needed to establish a military industrial complex so as to stop relying on foreign countries for the supply of its military hardware.
According to him, building a military industrial complex in order to design and produce indigenous military hardware would reduce the country’s reliance on other nations for equipment and as a result, prevent the possibility of exposing the nation’s defence to enemies in times of conflict.
Ahmadu further observed that military hardware purchased from other nations could compromise Nigeria’s security due to the fact that the basic technology was resident in the country of procurement.
He said, “We must look inwards to develop our own military hardware just like some other developed nations of the world that have a very strong military force.
“They took time to develop strong military hardware and are today strong forces to be reckoned with among the nations of the world.”
Stressing that ‘no serious nation will joke with the military and its activities’, the BPP DG added that the development of strong military capacity was vital to the overall success of the country.
Responding to the BPP DG’s suggestion, Director of Procurement, Defence Headquarters, Oni, wondered whether Nigeria had the capacity to establish a military industrial complex.
Oni observed that a lot of research went into the production of military hardware.
But he added that private companies in the country should be encouraged to go into the production of military equipment as the Nigerian Army could not handle such a venture alone.