Senate has on Wednesday increased the mobilization fees of local contractor to 30 from 15 per cent.

This followed the amendment of the public procurement Act 2007, which also reduced time frame for contract award to two weeks for processing and four days to issue certificates to qualified contractors.

In consideration of the amendment report during plenary on Wednesday, the lawmakers observed that the 15% mobilisation fee for local contractors was inadequate, which usually leads to contracts abandonment.

Presenting his lead debate, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Procurement, Senator Shuaibu Isa, said that the various sections amended in Act would revolutionise procurement process and contract award in the country.

Discussing on the amendment, the senators debated on the issue of certificate of no objection that divided the house over whether the certificate should be issued by heads of the MDAs or a Special committee in the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan,  noted that the parliament should ensure that there was no delay in contract processing and award by giving a timeframe for the necessary document to issued.

He said doing so was also a better way to curb corruption.

Some senators suggested the idea of having a representative of the Bureau of Public Procurement to be posted into the MDAs for the purpose of issuing certificates based on their various threshold.

On the issue on mobilisation for local contractors,  the committee recommended not more than  20 per cent but the Senate approved 30 per cent after much debate on the issue.

The Senate did not fix any percentage as mobilisation fee for foreign contractors because some senators argued that they should be ready to use their money for projects and get paid afterwards.

Lawan noted that there should be a deliberate plan of the government to encourage local contractors through policies and legislation.

He noted that the BPP has been problematic over the years.

He expressed confidence that the procurement process would now be  faster with the passage of the Public Procurement Act 2007 (amendments) Bill 2019.

He said the House of Representatives would  concur before the Christmas break so that it could be signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.