NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – President Uhuru Kenyatta says stern action will be taken against procurement officers who fail to enforce the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) law.
Speaking during the Youth Summit at State House on Monday, the Head of State indicated that it is not a choice but has to be done and any officer who flouts this directive will be sacked.
He pointed out that the law gives the youth and women access to 30 percent of government opportunities and it would be morally wrong to deny them this.
“The AGPO is now law. It is not a question of policy. It is not a question of I will if I want, it must happen since it is the law and I challenge you that once this report comes out especially those who are in procurement, I promise you now you will not be able to hide. You will leave and you will create opportunity for those who are willing to abide by the law,” he stated.
The Head of State further emphasised the need for a change in mindset by all stakeholders especially in uplifting the youth.
“We can no longer continue to pretend that we do not know what actually happens. We all know what happens. We are not going to be able to uplift the young people of this country if we continue to deny them those same opportunities. When we say we have to pay those suppliers, they must be the priority,” he said.
He further encouraged the youth to pursue government opportunities and not to be fazed by the challenges that may come their way.
“I know already of a number of cases of young people who despite having struggled are now losing their businesses because they borrowed money on the basis of their supply and have not been paid,” he explained.
He further encouraged the Treasury to follow up with procurement officers in various ministries after releasing the funds to them to ensure their timely disbursement.
“You must also tell these people that it is also not just good enough to say that you have released the money. You also are responsible since the accounting officers are your officers. So if they are not paying, why are they are their jobs? Because they are your officers,” he said.
“You cannot just say that you have released the money… no! If the ministry also does not pay, what action will you take against those who are not releasing the money? So do not think that you have gotten away with it by saying that you have released the money. You have to go to the next stage of ensuring that your accounting officers have also paid for those bills.”
During the summit, the Head of State also indicated that transformation is not just about words but about action and emphasised the need to use the media to inform the youth about upcoming opportunities.
He called on all stakeholders to engage in positive criticism to empower the youth.