By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has signed the State Procurement Bill into law.
Engineer Sule signed the Nasarawa State Procurement Bill into law at a brief ceremony, which held at the Government House, on Friday.
Speaking shortly after appending his signature to the draft bill, the Governor, described the event as not only historic for the people of the state, but that it signified that Nasarawa State has finally joined the league of elite states in the country, known for their transparency and accountability.
Engineer Sule, who was visibly elated, said with the signing of the procurement bill into law, the state is now qualified to be recognized as being transparent and accountable, even at the level of the World Bank.
The Governor however noted that signing of the procurement bill alone may not be enough, until government is able to put in place a team that will head the State Bureau for Procurement, that will monitor and enforce the tenets of the law.
To this end, Engineer Sule promised that by Monday next week, his administration will put a team together as members of the bureau.
According to the Governor, only persons of known integrity, who must be competent, experienced and are capable, will make the team, irrespective of political or ethno-religious considerations.
“For me and this administration, if this is one of the legacies that we are leaving behind, we are indeed leaving behind a legacy,” Engineer Sule stated.
The Governor used the opportunity to show appreciation to the Attorney-General and State Commissioner for Justice, Associate Professor Abubakar Kana and his team, the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ministry of Finance, as well as all those who worked hard to ensure that the draft bill was presented before the Nasarawa State House of Assembly.
Engineer Sule specifically thanked the Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe, especially the principal officers, who had worked extra hours, even on days they were not supposed to work to ensure that this bill is passed.
The Governor equally thanked his immediate predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura for coming up with the idea for ensuring that the bill was put together, having realised the importance of the law.
Engineer Sule expressed hope that the state stands to benefit from subsequent grants from the World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, among other organizations, given to states that have the procurement law in place.
“The qualification is not just about the World Bank grant, but to actually show that in Nasarawa State, we understand the rules of accountability, the rules of transparency and will be seen as people who are honest, in what we are doing and we are working very hard to ensure that things are working correctly,” he stated.
Presenting the bill before the Governor, Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe, said the bill when signed into law, will in no small measure add value to the state.
While commending Engineer Sule for his zeal to take the state to the top, the Speaker assured the Governor of their continued support and cooperation.
The Nasarawa State Bureau for Procurement, when put in place, will be the regulatory authority responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement, harmonizing existing government policies and practices by regulating, setting standards and developing the legal framework and professional capacity for public procurement and for related matters.