Army Will Not Condone Cases Of Short-changing By Contractors – Lagbaja

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has declared that under his leadership, the NA will view all forms of short-changing by its contractors with the seriousness it deserves and ensure that contractors mobilized for various jobs deliver as agreed.

The Army Chief made the declaration on Tuesday, 14 November 2023, during the Army Headquarters Fourth Quarter 2023 Procurement Seminar held at the Army War College Nigeria, Abuja.

Gen Lagbaja maintained that the primary objective of establishing the Directorate is “contract and contractor relationship management to enable the NA to obtain the best value for funds released to its contractors and business partners for execution of various contracts and projects while ensuring fairness, integrity and transparency”.

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While averring that the NA remains open to partnering with relevant stakeholders on terms favourable to all and giving value to the Federal Government that funds its activities, the COAS expressed the resolve to partner with reputable stakeholders in the Defence and Security Industry for the enhancement of its operational effectiveness.

Gen. Lagbaja pointed out that government policies are critically important to the successful attainment of the NA constitutional mandate, adding that one of such policies is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent Foreign Exchange Policy, which has continued to have significant implications for NA contracts requiring foreign exchange.

This development, he explained, has resulted in requests for payment of variations, which he described, as unfavourable to the NA, adding that the need to forge a mutual understanding of the CBN policy amongst stakeholders informed the theme of the seminar.

Gen. Lagbaja affirmed that the seminar was expedient to promote mutual understanding amongst stakeholders to help the NA aggregate value for Government allocations. This is in view of the country’s contemporary security space which continues to deepen the relevance of military logistics contractors in the Nigerian Army’s sustenance plans.

He expressed optimism that the seminar will facilitate renewed commitment to building and sustaining an efficient procurement system that meets international best practices.

In his remarks, the Director of Procurement, Major General Adeyinka Adereti, stated that the objective of the seminar is to enhance participants’ understanding of the rudiments of operational contract support in an ever-changing global context.

He emphasized that public procurement and foreign exchange policies and regulations continue to be the guiding compass for the award of contracts and procurement of platforms, which would enhance NA operations and improve the Army’s posture to perform its role.

Maj. Gen. Adereti revealed that global procurement processes have taken a new turn due to changes in the international system and the prevailing security climate, hence the need to organize the procurement seminar.

Highlights of the opening ceremony of the Seminar, which was themed, “Implications of the New Central Bank of Nigeria Foreign Exchange Policy on International Trade: Challenges for the Nigerian Army”, were robust interactive sessions, group photographs, and presentation of souvenirs to resource persons, as well as discussants and moderators.

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