The People Expertise and Excellence Foundation (PEEF) have called for proper regulation in order to ensure development and growth of Nigeria’s steel sector.
The group stated this as part of recommendations of the PEEF annual conference held recently.
According to PEEF’s draft communiqué, for the government to tackle procurement and fraud risks in the country’s steel sector, there is a need to promote competitive tendering, prosecute fraud and corruption cases as well as identify gaps and address them.
“Use the default method of procurement, which is Competitive Tendering, as much as practicable to promote fairness and transparency in the procurement process.
“Emphasize the importance of preventing corruption rather than detecting it, as preventive measures are more effective in addressing corruption risks. Prosecute fraud and corruption cases and make the outcomes public to serve as a deterrent and demonstrate the commitment to transparency.
“Close gaps and corruption will disappear or be minimized by taking a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential corruption risks, helping to maintain the integrity of the procurement process,” the body said.
While noting the sector’s key challenges to include lack of clear policy direction and commitment to national goals and aspirations by the Nigerian government; inadequate training and development opportunities for staff; poor integration of new technologies into current systems; skewed concessions leading to losses and arbitration penalty payouts due to privatization policy among others, the group noted that harnessing the country’s abundant national would create the essential employment and infrastructure development.
Moving forward, PEEF said the government must provide innovative leadership, basic infrastructure and address the protracted security challenges impacting the development of the nation’s steel sector.
“Inconsistent policies and conflicting responsibilities between the federal and state governments are hindering the sector’s progress.
The sector remains unregulated, posing further challenges to its development,” it further said.