Senate, yesterday, passed a bill to re-enact the Public Procurement Act, 2007, to, among other things, give priority to locally made goods in all government procurements.

This followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Public Procurement, chaired by Senator Joshua Dariye.

Tagged "A Bill for an act to amend the Public Procurement Act to provide for and adopt a local content policy and timely completion of procurement processes and other related matters," the new legislation passed Third Reading in the chamber.

Senator Dariye said the bill, when assented to, will amend certain relevant sections of the 2007 Procurement Act to favour local manufacturers and ensure speedy completion of projects.

The bill seeks to amend section 15(1) of the Act by inserting additional clauses that would close the gap created by the Act.

"Similarly, the issue of disposal which is an integral aspect of procurement has been aptly captured by the amendment in the new sub-clause 1(e).

"The committee has equally sustained the amendments of section 34(1,2) sought by the bill for the purpose of patronising made in Nigeria goods: this will go a long way to encourage our Nigerian manufacturers.

"The amendment proposed by the bill in section 35 is to review upwards the mobilisation fee from 15 per cent to 25 per cent that may be paid to a supplier or contractor.

"This is aimed at enhancing timely completion of Procurement Processes at various phases," Dariye explained.

Senate also approved the inclusion of Nigerian Institute of Architects and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Survey as members of the National Council on Public Procurement.

After presenting the report of the committee, Senate resolved into a Committee of the Whole for clause by clause consideration on the report.

Senate, thereafter, adopted the report of the committee and passed the bill for Third Reading.

The bill was, thereafter, read a third time and passed into law.

Speaking after passage of the bill, Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the new amendments to the act would help stimulate the nation's economy.

"We all have a role to play to ensure that the executive complies, especially in the area of giving first priority to locally-produced goods.

This has helped many countries to develop when they had issues of downturn in their economy.

"One of the things that we have done today is also trying to shorten the process of awarding contracts; this will go a long way in helping budget implementation.

"It would go a long way in ensuring that most of the funds are available as quickly as possible and jobs are actually completed.

I want to commend my colleagues for passing this bill," he said.