Public procurement by the Nigerian government could play a critical role as a facilitator for sustainable growth and progress. Public sector spend is about 13-20% of GDP in advanced economies and more in developing countries. In this respect, the Nigerian government could harness its buying power to spur the use of sustainable procurement (SP) of products and services using its dual role as a buyer and regulator of practices. The government through different policies and platforms has acknowledged the importance of sustainable development although it is yet to fully adopt and implement sustainable procurement policy. No study has been conducted to determine how SP can be implemented in Nigeria.
The study was divided into two broad parts. The first aimed at uncovering the country procurement practices and sustainable development goals. The second part attempted a compilation of the best international SP practices using five countries: the UK, US, Malaysia, Ghana, Brazil, as case studies. In addition, a comparative analysis was carried out, to determine best practices in sustainable procurement which can be adopted by the Nigerian state given its context, resources and capacity.
The results show that (a) The Nigerian procurement policy elements focused on the economical benefits of procurement such as cost effectiveness, competition and transparency. In addition, it contains a few social elements and environmental elements. However, what lacked in the Nigerian policy in comparison to other countries were clear definitions and SPP implementation plans; (b) countries apply environmental, social and economic elements of SP at varying degree; (c) SP considerations evolve overtime and so there should be constant monitoring, evaluation and reviews (d) Other factors for successful implementation include good policy and strategy, realistic targets, stakeholder engagement, capacity building and political willingness.