The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has called on the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to adopt stricter monitoring strategies of projects to curb corruption in the country.
The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has noted that to limit the Bureau of Public Procurement’s oversight to Due Diligence at Pre-Award stage of projects alone without project monitoring duties during the actual execution of the projects on site makes massive corruption to persist in government’s projects with attendant negative consequences on the economy.
Thus, the Institute called for stricter monitoring of projects when a delegation of the National Executive Council (NEC), led by its President, QS Obafemi Onashile paid a courtesy visit on the Director General of the BPP, QS. Mamman Ahmadu in Abuja, recently.
Onashile said for BPP to make better impact in delivering value-for-money for the nation, “BPP must take its oversight influence beyond the Pre-Award of Contracts to even throughout the construction phase of the projects that they had earlier authorised to ensure that approvals are not circumvented through the possible corrupt compromise of either quality standards or the specified sizes of such projects or both in order to reduce the actual costs without passing the cost reduction to the government.”
The NIQS president also called for the introduction of forensic audits for very large and complex completed projects within six years of their completion to ensure that another independent layer of scrutiny is brought to bear on the investment in the project as obtains in disciplined economy like the United States’.
He said, “When contractors do realise that forensic audit could be conducted on their projects way after the delivery by different set of officers and that they can be called back to account for short-changes on the completed projects this would further discourage corruption tendencies between contractors and the supervising MDAs or consultants.”
Onashile further appealed to the BPP to look into the development of alternative Form of Contract to the current BPP Form of Contract, explaining that while it worked very well for civil engineering projects, it is quite deficient for building projects which comes with peculiar and different administrative procedures.
While acknowledging the improvement of the BPP in fast tracking due diligence processes and ensuring faster commencement of government projects, the NIQS President called for the engagement of more Quantity Surveyors as staff of the agency to enable it discharged its responsibility of oversight of public procurement efficiently and effectively.
“We believe that as experts trained to provide total cost and procurement management of capital projects from conception to completion, we have vital roles to play in prudent costing of projects, procurement management and project monitoring to ensure better earned value for money,” Onashile said.
He called for collaboration between the BPP and the NIQS, as well as with its regulation body, The Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) through availing sponsorship for cost researches being undertaken by QSRBN/NIQS in the forms of Construction Cost Database Research Project and also Construction Costing Softwares development.
The Director General of the BPP, QS Mamman Ahmadu commended the NIQS for its readiness to partner with relevant agencies of Federal Government to reduce cost of construction projects and ensuring compliance with best practices.
Ahmadu urged the NIQS to set up stiffer penalties for any of their members that may be found guilty on corruption charges on any project and to bar such member from ever practicing as a professional of the Institute.
He confirmed that the BPP is already in the process of procuring the services of a transaction adviser to review and advise on the alternative Form of Contract that will best suit building projects.