The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors has called on the Bureau of Public Procurement to adopt stricter monitoring strategies of projects as a way to curb corruption in the country.
The institute made the call in Abuja when a delegation of its National Executive Council led by the President, Mr. Obafemi Onashile, paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General, BPP, Mr. Mamman Ahmadu.
The NIQS noted that the limiting of the BPP’s oversight to due diligence at the pre-award stage of projects only and non-execution of project monitoring duties during the actual execution on sites were the reasons massive corruption persisted in government projects with the attendant negative consequences on the economy.
Onashile was quoted to have said that for the BPP to make better impact in delivering value for the nation, it must take its oversight influence beyond the pre-award of contracts to the entire phase of the projects it had earlier authorised to ensure that approvals were not circumvented through the possible compromise of either quality standards or the specified sizes of such projects, or both.
He stated, “Forensic audits should be introduced for very large and complex 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 economies like the United States.
“When contractors realise that forensic audit can be conducted on their projects way after the delivery by different sets of officers and that they can be called back to account for short-changes on the completed projects, this will further discourage corrupt tendencies between the contractors and the supervising Ministries, Department and Agencies of government, or consultants.”
Onashile also urged the BPP to look into the development of another alternative Form of Contract to the existing one, which he noted that while it worked very well for civil engineering projects, it was quite deficient for building projects with peculiar and different administrative procedures.
Ahmadu, on his part, commended the institute for its readiness to partner relevant agencies of the government to reduce the cost of construction projects and ensuring compliance with best practices.