Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, has proposed the amendment of the State Procurement Agency Law, 2015 with a view to raising the advance payment from 20 to 40 percent.
This was made known during the public hearing on a bill titled, ‘The Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2020,’ which took place at the Lagos House of Assembly Pavilion.
In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun said, “Procurement is very important. It has to do with the delivery of goods and services. We felt we should do what is needed to set the state on the part of progress.”
According to him “the idea of public hearing affords the policymakers to hear from the masses. It is meant to build public confidence in the government. Good legislation must not be the yearnings of the populace alone, it must be the aggregated interest of the people.”
“We are here to discuss important issues, which is public procurement. Procurement is broad, encompassing, and covers all aspects of government activities. Lagos State is proud to be one of the states with one of the best procurement policies in Nigeria.”
He however stated, “We must never rest on oars towards the provision of better democracy. We can make remarkable progress and improvement through our contributions today.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, Hon. Rauf Age-Sulaimon said the purpose of the amendment is “to ensure that the society is regulated. When you are talking about development, procurement is the most important because if, government projects are not properly executed, of course, you will not see the result.”
“We have been talking about the money needed for projects and the economy is not smiling at all and for us to support contractors there is a need on the part of the government to encourage them. The essence of this is to increase from 20% to 40% so that the person involved would be able to do the job effectively.”
“We will ensure that the contractors adhere strictly to the terms of the contract. It will benefit the masses because it will not be the winner takes it all. It will not be the survival of the fittest because the fittest might not be capable. It is open to everybody. Once you have the requirement you will be allowed to bid.”
While giving the overview of the Bill, the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said, “the law as it stands today has 83 sections, out of which we are proposing to amend 38 sections. The reason for the amendment is to simplify the narration.
Agunbiade explained, “Amendment of section 63, advance payment of not more than 40 percent of the contract sum may be paid to a supplier or contractor.
“Provided that advance payment above 40 percent shall be subject to the regulation prescribed by the agency.
“Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, any person, company or authority who accesses mobilization fee and absconds or does not carry out the services or works commensurate to the fee paid commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine equivalent to the fee paid or both ”