Reps give OAU ultimatum over procurement Act

The Federal House of Representatives has expressed worry about the low level of compliance of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and other public universities in the country with the Public Procurement Act.

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, Wole Oke, said this in an interview with journalists in Ile-Ife on Wednesday after he led the members of the committee to check the level of compliance of the OAU management with the Act.

Although the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede, was not present, he was represented by the Chairman, Committee of Deans, Prof Adeagbo Amusan; who was in company with the registrar, Dotun Awoyemi; and the bursar, Mrs. Ronke Akeredolu, as well as some directors.

Oke described the act as a tool which could assist all anti-corruption agencies in the country to effectively check corruption, saying a violation of the law was the easiest way to the prison.

The lawmaker said the committee was at the OAU to check its procurement records between 2011 and 2016 but said the university did not provide all the documents.

Oke said, “What we are planning to achieve is to bring this law to the front burner. The shortest way to the prison is by violating this act; ignorance is not a defence in the law.

“We are educating MDAs that this law exists. To be frank, the level of compliance with the Act by the universities is very low. One of our colleagues, whom we wrote this law together, Bala Ngilari, fell victim of this act. Some of our leaders also suffered in the hands of this Act.

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“We are educating them not to fall victim of this law; Section 20, subsection (1) stated that a chief senior officer should manage the activities and Section 58, subsection (5) clearly states the sanctions if anybody violates the Act.

“The law also mandates procurement entities to make their procurement plans ahead of time because procurement plans dovetail into budgets.

“We do not have all the documents we need to check here now and we are given the university till July 6 to make them available.”

The lawmaker said the level of compliance of government ministries with the Act was much better than the compliance of universities and departments and agencies.

He stated that the committee had spent the last two years educating the public about the existence of the Act, saying the next two years would be used for enforcement.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, had earlier lauded Oke and his colleagues for establishing the Public Procurement Institute inside the OAU

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