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I have been a contractor for quite sometime and I have been contracting mostly for the Federal Ministries before I decided to quit due to the fact that I was owed some money which was not paid as at that time.
After sometime, I realized that many companies I had been contracting for, still did not pay me on time. As such, I decided to go back to the ministries which I feel were better.
To my utmost dismay, when I approached a certain ministry (name withheld,) for registration, I was told that I could not be registered.
I asked why, and I was told that it was a directive from above, not to register any contractor again, not just only me.
I approached some of my colleagues who were also contracting for ministries, and I was told that they were not briefed about the non-registration of contractors, but were only advised to call back for registration.
I became confused and went back to the ministry I had been contracting for, and I was still told that I could not be registered despite the fact that I was known to them as one of the registered contractors of the ministry (according to them that was in the past.)
Now, there is no registration of contractors because it has been banned.
Please Independent Advocate help throw more lights on this issue because it is confusing and sounds strange to me.
A contractor has the right to live in this country. If really registration of contractors is banned as claimed, how can people like me survive?
I have been a contractor over 25 years, and a recognized one at that.
Mr. John Aholo Ajiofu
P.O. Box 5531
Calabar, Cross River State.
Independent Advocate took up the enquiry of Mr. Ajiofu with three ministries and was later directed to the office of the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) from where an official was referred to as the only authentic source to comment on the issue.
The official, on hearing the nature of the enquiry, advised the Independent Advocate to call back the following day.
On the appointed date, the official who craved anonymity revealed to the Independent Advocate that it was true the Federal Government had since late last year, (2011) banned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from registering contractors and providers of services before securing contract from them.
“This information is true, this enquirer was not in any way being deceived by any of the ministries he must have contacted for registration.”
If that is so, where else could this enquirer go for registration, being a contractor?
The official had this to say “The Federal Government also made it clear that from now on, only the Bureau of Public Procurement (also known as the Due Process Office) is mandated to register contractors and service providers.”
This issue was made public during the opening of a workshop for building and civil engineering contractors on the classification and categorization of contractors here in Abuja.”
This pronouncement was made by the Director-General of the Bureau Public Procurement and warned that any MDAs which insisted on registering contractors and service providers before giving them contracts should be reported to the appropriate authorities.”
This was so according to the official because the Director-General described as illegal the measure by MDAs to individually register contractors and service providers. He said the decision of the BPP to take over the registration of contractors and all service providers, was in keeping with its statutory responsibilities as enshrined in section 3 (h) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 which expect the bureau to maintain a national database of the particulars of federal contractors and service providers for ease of information sourcing and analysis, and in conformity with the needs of the new information age.”
He also stressed that the BPP boss said the centralized data base and categorization of contractors doing business with the federal government was expected to enhance efficiency, save const in public procurement, improve budget implementation and increase professionalism, as well as introduce transparency in the public procurement process.
In answer to a question, the official said that the BPP boss hoped that when the programme is completed, the cost of doing business in Nigeria would reduce through the elimination of multiple registration and pre-qualifications I the various MDAs.
“That is all I can say on this issue, and I bet you, no other information as regards this issue more or less than the ones I have given you.”
This enquirer was meant to understand that he was not denied registration by the ministry he had been contracting for before the pronouncement but the order was from above.