An assessment of the implementation of public procurement policy in Nigeria
The study examined the key contents of the public procurement policy in Nigeria. It also investigated the implementation strategies of the institutions established for the purpose of the procurement policy. It further assessed the effect of the public procurement policy on the promotion of transparency, accountability and infrastructural development in Nigeria; and analysed the challenges affecting the implementation of public procurement policy in Nigeria. These were with a view to providing information on the implementation of the public procurement reform policy in the country. Primary and secondary sources of data were utilized for the study. The primary data were generated through questionnaire administration and conduct of in-depth interviews. The study population (178) consisted of senior staff members on grade level 07 and above in the Bureau of Public Procurement (138), members of Ministerial Tender’s Board (16) and members the Procurement Committees (24). The respondents were purposively selected from Ministries of Works, Health, Housing and Urban Development and Finance, being the Ministries most involved in procurement activities. A total of 178 copies of questionnaire, covering 100% of study population were administered to the entire members of the population due to the small size of the population, and 146 copies of questionnaire (representing 82.02%) were retrieved. In-depth interviews were conducted with 4 Permanent Secretaries of the four selected Ministries. Also Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) of the four selected Ministries, who constituted the Chairpersons of the Procurement Committees of the Ministries; and four Directors of Bureau of Public Procurement, namely Director of Finance and Management, Director of Audit, Director of Special Procurement and Director of Media, making a total of 22 respondents interviewed. Secondary data were collected from official documents of the selected Ministries, Bureau of Public Procurement Manual, BPP Act 2007, journal articles, books and internet sources. Data collected were analysed using frequency distribution and t-test. The results showed that sealed bid submission/transparent bid opening, contract award/execution, bid evaluation - Technical and Financial, and project implementation are the key contents of public procurement policy in Nigeria. The results also identified drawing up of an efficient procurement plan driven by a needs assessment(64.5%), adequate appropriation for the procurement (83.9%); open and appropriate level of advertisement based on tender threshold (93.6%); transparent pre-qualification/tender (89.2%), sealed bid submission/transparent bid opening (93.6%), and contract award/execution and project implementation (87.1%) as the implementation strategies of the institutions The study further revealed that despite the adequacy of the policy, there was no substantial compliance with the standard procurement strategies in the award of contracts by the ministries (t = -6.856; p 0.05), there is no positive significant effect of the public procurement policy implementation on transparency and accountability (t = -9.624; p 0.05) thereby having little effect on the promotion of transparency, accountability, and infrastructural development. The study finally revealed that political patronage (80.9%), corruption (78.9%), poor technical knowledge of procurement (72.4%), inability to prosecute procurement offenders (68.8%) and lack of political will on the part of government (67.4%) are the challenges affecting the implementation of public procurement policy in Nigeria. The study concluded that the implementation of public procurement reform policy in Nigeria only recorded partial success.