Corruption in procurement, difficult to detect – ICPC

The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, has identified procurement of contracts as an area that breeds corrupt practices which could be hard to detect and investigate.

The ICPC boss who was represented by a senior employee from Abuja, Olugbenga Ogunlana, made this statement on Friday in Lagos during the final phase of a two-day awareness programme organised by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Abuja chapter.

He said, “Procurement, which represents a substantial percentage of the economy, is an area that has long been recognised as being particularly vulnerable to corruption. It translates into a huge amount of money that provides seemingly endless opportunity and temptation for corruption.

“Unnecessary complexity of bidding documents or terms of reference are used to create confusion to hide corrupt behaviour and make monitoring difficult. Almost 90 per cent or more of government’s annual capital budget is spent by the ministries, departments and agencies of government on procurement of goods, works and services. In the process, goods or services that are needed are overestimated to favour a particular provider.”

Speaking on the theme of the programme, ‘Preventing and Detecting Contract and Procurement Fraud in Nigeria’, the President of the group, Mr. Emmanuel Ishilli, said ACFE would expose improprieties associated with procurement process to salvage the country’s economy.

Ishilli said, “The essence of organising this programme is to create awareness that the major challenges we have been facing in this country is corruption which is prominently traced to procurement process. As fraud examiners, we intend to expose some of these activities and their effects on the nation’s economy. Therefore, we are partnering with organisations such as ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by providing them with useful information on corrupt practices in the procurement process at both private and public sectors.”

In his lecture, Prof. Wilson Herbert, from Bingham University, Nasarawa State, noted that combating procurement crimes in public and private sectors required a forensic accounting which covers “litigation support, expert witnessing and fraud examination.
Source : Punch News


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