By Lucy Ogalue
The Chartered Institute of Purchase and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPMN) said it was working to eliminate unqualified public office holders parading as procurement officers.
Alhaji Sikiru Balogun, the CIPMN President, during the induction of new fellows of the institute in Abuja on Tuesday urged procurement officers to be professionally certified.
He said: “We do not confer honourary membership to just anyone, you have to be trained, write an examination and have knowledge of this profession before we can give you membership.
“We do not give honourary membership without certifying that you are academically qualified. Our law does not permit anybody who does not have certified knowledge by us to head any procurement department.
“And we are making sure that this type of people are flushed out because they are quacks.
“Although, because of the Nigerian factor they still find themselves in the profession and they are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that we the professionals are not allowed to practice.”
According to Balogun, most people (quacks) parading themselves as procurement officers are the major challenge the country has, as they lack training and knowledge of the profession and cannot function adequately.
The president, therefore, advised unqualified procurement officers to desist from such acts as there were sanctions of five to ten years for procurement violations.
He also urged the President Bola Tinubu’s administration to ensure the use of qualified procurement administrators to ensure proper planning, budgeting and distribution for the good of Nigerians.
Similarly, Alhaji Mohamed Aliyu, the Registrar of the Institute decried that procurement professionals were not performing their duties in delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.
Aliyu, however, urged the newly inductees to be responsible and diligent in their endeavors because if Nigeria is better, it will be better for us all.
“What is happening in Nigeria and the observations of the outside country is not palatable; they look at us as if we do not have professionals in the field.
“But I believe my people will go out there, if given the opportunity, cooperate with the new administration to ensure that we put everything in better perspective.
“The most unforgivable sin for any procurement person is to go above the budget. Budget has to go in tandem with the procurement otherwise you cannot implement,” Aliyu said.
The registrar commended President Tinubu for the way he had hit the ground running, saying there were still some gray areas that needed to be addressed.
“To inaugurate the public procurement council without wasting time, the bureau of public procurement needs to be put in the hands of capable people who have what it takes to manage that place.
“If quacks are assigned roles they are not capable of, they cannot perform because if you cannot build, then you can destroy and destruction is very easy.
“Let procurement take the center stage because that is where the totality of the budget goes.
“So let procurement take center stage if any government wants to triumph and that is the basic truth,” he said.
Abdul Mamman, a fellow and North Central Coordinator of the institute said that procurement had been identified all over the world as a cost and profit centre where public money was spent for public good.
Mamman said procurement had become the only window approved by any serious government to spend her money through management principles.
He said the institute was mandated to train professionals since procurement is a profession.
“If you go through the gamut of the law, you will see in part 2 sections 5K, where it says that the bureau is to organise training for procurement professionals.
“Professional are the ones to do this job,” he said.
An inductee, Blessing Echewodo, expressed joy at the opportunity given to her to serve, while pledging to inculcate professional ethics in her endeavors going forward.
She said: “With the knowledge I have gotten, I will ensure due diligence in whatever I am doing in my chosen career. I will make sure I represent the institute to make sure this noble profession is not put to shame.
“I will ensure to buy right, ensure value for money when making any purchase because cost is our watch word; I will not buy because I want to benefit, but for the advantage of my company or organisation I am representing,” Echewodo said. (NAN)