The NCCI is appealing to the government, particularly the newly appointed Central Procurement Board, to fast-track the process of implementing the new procurement legislation to avoid stagnation of business activities in the economy.
“We have learnt that most government institutions, including state-owned enterprises and local authorities, are now required to procure through the Central Procurement Board which replaced the Government Tender Board and various procurement authorities within state institutions as of April 1, 2017. This has resulted in most, if not all, major projects earmarked to be executed by various state institutions, including state-owned enterprises, to be put on hold to allow the new procurement law and its regulations to kick in,” said NCCI CEO Tarah Shaanika.
He added that the NCCI is concerned that the process of implementing this legislation, including putting in place the required administrative machineries, will delay a number of projects which in turn will result in business activities stagnation.
“Unfortunately this process is taking place at a time when the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts resulted in the cancellation and suspension of some projects as well as delayed payment to service providers by the state. This means that business activities have already been scaling down and any further delay in procuring more goods and services from businesses by the state and its companies will have serious negative consequences for business,” Shaanika cautioned.
“We are therefore appealing to the government, Ministry of Finance and the Central Procurement Board in particular to fast-track the process of implementing the new legislation and ensure that procurement of goods and services by the state and all its companies resume without much delay. We are further appealing to the government to prioritise the payment of all outstanding debt owed to businesses in respect of goods supplied and/or services provided as it implements the new budget. As we face and tackle the ongoing difficult economic conditions in the country, we must become more innovative in coming up with programmes which stimulate more business activities to ensure increased growth in the economy in order to avoid business closure and further job losses,” Shaanika concluded.