African leaders must pay critical attention to procurement regimes in their respective countries, implored Ghanaian procurement specialist and SmartProcurement Editorial Board member, Professor Douglas Boateng.
The procurement regime on the African continent has been generally weak for a long period, which has led countries in the sub-region to lose revenue, said Prof. Boateng, who has been touring Africa to push for procurement to be professionalised.
“Unless the continent… takes procurement seriously the dream of industrialising the continent will be a pale dream, because whatever we buy has an impact on local industry,” said Prof. Boateng, a supply chain specialist for about 25 years.
He urged African leaders to find a suitable way of upholding professionalism so that procurement practitioners can better understand the impact of their jobs on the development and growth of the continent.
A sound procurement and supply regime operated by professionals has been partly responsible for development of the Western world, said Prof. Boateng, stressing the need for a paradigm shift in the ‘crude’ way procurement and supply are being carried out in Africa.
Boating found fault with the high volume of importation of goods onto the continent, adding that some of these products could be produced or sourced locally in order to save the sub-region some foreign exchange.
“There are certain basic things which I believe should really not be imported – toothpicks, orange juice, underwear, slippers, tomatoes – I believe [that for] all these things government should find a way of producing them locally.”
Meanwhile in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate corruption allegations in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and in the roles of various officers and companies and their directors in "fundamental breaches" associated with procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the NAF.
The breaches identified by the audit committee include non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence to provisions of the Public Procurement Act.