Bureau of Public Procurement


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

Procurement is one of the leading supply chain activities that highly impact organisational or institution performance (Pattanayak and Punyatoya, 2019). Increasingly, more government organisations adopt online versions of procurement to make it more effective, transparent, and accountable. Indeed, in the last one-decade, e-procurement has become a global trend where Government and organisations increasingly recognise the benefits of e-procurement technology. Developing nations have led to the migration of procurement services countries in the developing world have also stepped up the adoption of these technologies. E-procurement gets recognised as the solution to rampant corruption and inefficiencies that face procurement and negatively affect governments’ performance (Vaidyanathan & Devaraj, 2008).

Procurement in Nigeria lists several shortcomings. For example, corruption, overpricing, and inefficiencies are among the challenges affecting the delivery of services. Indeed, the Nigeria public procurement losses average $3.6 billion due to fraudulent activities in the award of tenders, poor execution of public contracts, lack of procurement plants, poor budgeting practices, inflation, and also manipulation of systems between 2011-2015 (Papachristou, 2019). Therefore, taxpayers do not receive value for their money in most instances, seeing poverty and inequalities rise rampantly. To this end, as part of the reforms in the country, the Public Procurement Bill was articulated in 2004. The Public Procurement Act 2007 established the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) with the body charged with streaming public procurement in Nigeria. However, public procumbent in Nigeria suffer from massive corruption and wastage of public funds (Williams-Elegbe, 2018).

1.2 Research Aim and Objectives

This study seeks to examine the e-procurement readiness in Nigeria’s public institutions, looking at how various factors impact it—also creating a foundation strategy on the implementation with an appreciation of the procurement challenges affecting BPP. The study aims to investigate the e-readiness of Nigerian public institutions towards the adoption of e-procurement and the factors that affect their e-readiness.

To meet the aim specifies above, the objectives of the research are:

  1. To articulate the awareness and concept of within the public institutions towards the new Technology.
  2. To assess the barriers to the adoption of e-procurement technology in public institutions.
  3. To identify the potential factors that could accelerate the implementation of e-procurement technology in public procurement.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the challenges of the current paper-based procurement system?
  2. What are the potential challenges for adopting e-procurement?
  3. What level of BPP commitment stays required for the effective implementation of e-procurement in Nigeria?
  4. What are the prospects for implementing e-procurement in the public sector?

1.4 Methodology

The study seeks to assess the readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to adopt an e-procurement system. To this end, the study challenges, commitment, and prospects in adopting e-procurement solutions to solve corruption and inefficiency challenges in public procurement in Nigeria. Hence, the study takes a qualitative-research strategy intending to assess BPP readiness in adopting e-procurement technology.

1.5 Research Approach

The research approach is deductive, which means that the study begins with a set of the research question and sets out to answer them (Riemer et al., 2012). In this case, data remains collected from available literature on implementing and adopting e-procurement systems and combined with raw data collected from BPP employees.

1.6 Research Design

In assessing the readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in adopting e-procurement, data will be gathered from a review of the literature and also surveys. Therefore, the design is qualitative in that non-statistical data will be collected to inform the study. Qualitative research design or strategy works on analysing non-statistical data and thus identifying key themes that inform the conclusions.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

This research considers the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for the state’s daily administration. An online survey will be applied rather than limit traveling and physical contact considering the risk of Covid-19. Second, the study’s findings will stay based on the quality of survey data, hence the risk of respondent bias affecting the overall quality of conclusions.

 1.8 Structure of the Dissertation

This dissertation has five main chapters according to the need to provide a clear and concise account of the content.

In Chapter 1, the brief history provides a background, aim and objectives, research design, and research approach, including identification of the research question’s explanation of the research methodology significance of the outcome. It is the foundation of the dissertation. Moreover, Chapter 2, this analysis begins as a discussion of the significant issues presently affecting the e-procurement implementation in Nigeria. Through a review of the related, this chapter then examines the critical theoretical framework of e-procurement while presenting contemporary research of e-procurement implementation in Nigeria, as they relate to the e-procurement implementation for the various countries around the world.

Chapter 3 depicts the philosophy and systems utilised within this study. The primary research methodology implemented for this study was action research, and the implementation of the movement got justified, and research cycles remained designed. The data-gathering techniques stay based on the literature review and questionnaire. While in Chapter 4, the results from the research work remain presented in chapter four. The result from the examination of information gathered from the questionnaire will remain shown in the analysis. The realities will back it said in Chapter 2, keeping in mind the end goal to clear up the recognitions of the participants towards the dissertation objectives and aim. Lastly, Chapter 5 discusses the results, the research work, and its findings. A general discussion and conclusion stay provided, and the chapter ends with recommendations for further research.


1.9 Conceptual Research Design Workflow of the Research

As described in Figure 1., these research steps provided a clear conceptual research framework. As such, this framework provided the proper steps to find out how to be established the research study.

Figure 1: Conceptual Research Design Workflow of the Research

1.10 Summary

This section established the frameworks of the dissertation. It introduces the background for the study and highlights the research question and other identified issues. The research methodology, research design, and framework structure of the dissertation remain discussed. The accompanying chapters give a definite depiction of every phase of the research.



2.1 Introduction

This chapter comprises a comprehensive review of theoretical and empirical literature underpinning electronic procurement (e-procurement) adoption. The academic literature seeks to explain different perspectives related to e-procurement and critical practices of e-procurement based on past studies. In particular, the theoretical literature includes perspectives on issues such as the meaning of e-electronic, practices related to the implementation of e-procurement, challenges associated with the current paper-based procurement system, potential challenges for adopting e-procurement, factors that can affect the performance of e-procurement, facilitators and barriers of implementing e-procurement system, and prospects for implementing e-procurement in the public sector. On the other hand, empirical literature provides a critical and comprehensive overview of insights from past studies related to the topic. Conclusively, the purpose of this chapter is to critically outline the findings of past studies, which will, in turn, stay used to inform the research questions of this study.

2.2 Theoretical Foundation

Existing literature indicates that the top management essentially makes decisions about adopting a new system such as e-procurement solutions of the said organisation (Batenburg, 2007). While this can be partially true, many other factors need consideration in determining an organisation’s preparedness to adopt e-procurement. Some studies have indicated that the adoption of e-procurement solutions can be affected by the willingness and readiness of suppliers (Williams& Hardy, 2007) and individual characteristics such as age, education level, and people’s acceptance of new technological structures and systems. Moreover, other studies have emphasised the importance of behavioural change on the part of top management, will of political leaders in a country, as well as low ranking employees who are directly involved in using new technologies related to e-procurement systems (Akaba et al., 2020, Adebayo & Evans, 2015). Therefore, examining the readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to adopt e-procurement would be based on three theoretical models, including technology acceptance theory (TAM), institutional theory, and theory of planned behaviour.

2.2.1 Technology Acceptance Theory (TAM)

Although Tsuma and Kanda (2017) argue that TAM tends not to be specific regarding implementing new Technology such as e-procurement systems, it stays identified as a powerful model predicting acceptance behaviour and intention of using new technologies (Yi & Hwang, 2003). According to TAM, attitude towards technological behaviour can remain influenced by two key elements: perceived usefulness and ease of use. According to Davis (1989), perceived usefulness refers to how an individual presumes using a technological system would improve their performance. In contrast, perceived ease of use refers to how individuals believe using a technical system would lead to minimal mental effort. TAM contains individuals’ behavioural interventions and core elements, including ease of use and perceived usefulness, which can significantly influence a user’s attitude to a technological system. The concept can remain identified as favorableness and unfavorableness of the plan (Taherdoost, 2018). Additionally, Lin, Fofanah& Liang (2011) note that certain external variables such as system characteristics, user training, involvement of users in designing, and the implementation process stay considered in the TAM framework. TAM has been used in studies such as Wahid (2010) to help understand the adoption of contemporary technologies in public sectors. Tapping on this theory can help understand how prepared is the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in adopting e-procurement by examining the willingness of people to accept and routinise using e-procurement systems. However, the application of TAM is only limited to the workplace since it ignores social influence in the adoption of Technology (Taherdoost, 2018).

2.2.2 Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)

TPB extends the theory of reasoned action (TRA) by adding a new variable known as perceived behavioural control (PBC). An individual’s PBC remains influenced by an individual’s skills and opportunities, resources availability, and perceived significance of the available resources, skills, and opportunities to achieve set goals (Taherdoost, 2018). Unlike TRA, which assumes that an individual’s behaviour is solely affected by their behavioural intention, TPB integrates PBC to guide the actions of an individual that is free from the influence of deliberate control. Therefore, the TPB model identifies three key factors affecting a person’s behavioural interventions, including perceived behavioural rule, behavioural attitude, and subjective norm. Although the TPB model may stay construed as an increasingly apposite theoretical framework that determines the willingness of an individual to use information technology, an individual’s attitudes towards an individual would be squarely irrelevant when a user computer system is not available (Taherdoost, 2018).

2.2.3 Institutional Theory

Unlike TAM and TPB models, whose applicability appears to be limited to technology acceptability and individuals’ behaviour, institutional theory can be considered an essential theoretical framework for this study owing to its suitability to the conduct of public sector agencies. The appropriateness of institutional theory in this study has remained confirmed in several studies. In their research, Ashworth et al. (2007) consented that institutional theory is a critical lens to understand and interpret an organisation’s processes. The authors concluded that institutional theory is essentially a valuable complement to the managerial and technical perspective of attaining the required status in the public sector agencies.

Meyer and Rowan (1983) coined the concept of institutional theory, who postulated that organisations interact to attain their goals. In this regard, institutional theory stresses how organisations create the desired behaviour using a string of social norms that constantly change with time and become legitimately integrated within a public sector entity. By focusing on institutional isomorphism, DiMaggio and Powell (1983) identified three fundamental mechanisms that go into achieving isomorphism in adopting technology systems, including coercive (pressure intended to ensure an agency’s procedures stay aligned to accepted standards), mimetic (forces emanating from the drive to minimise uncertainty) and normative (pressure stemming from the expertise and know-how) (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983). The presence of the same legal, policy, and regulatory forces on agencies in the public sector imply that those organisations have to conform to standard rules and regulations, and there, institutional theory equally equates to being an appropriate mechanism for assessing underlying forces that can determine the ease of adoption of e-procurement systems.

2.3 Conceptual Framework

2.3.1 Public Procurement

Public procurement is one of the leading functions of the Government, representing a virtual channel through which governments achieve their manifold objectives (Thai, 2001). Its importance remained emphasised by Coggburn (2003), who notes that failure of the Government’s procurement function to deliver high-quality goods and services on time and at a reasonable price led to the wreckage of government service. Public procurement is a diverse function of Government. Its diversity stays reflected in the various definitions of the concept. United Nations Development Programme (2007) defined public procurement as the entire process involving acquiring goods and services and civil works. The function constitutes a wide range of activities such as needs identification, choosing and petitioning sources, evaluating bidders, and awarding contracts, alongside various phases of managing and overseeing contracts until a service contract stays concluded. Alternatively, Mukuraetal. (2016) defined public procurement as the process of buying goods and contracting services and construction works using resources obtained from states and local authorities’ budgets, domestic or foreign loans, foreign aid, and state foundation funds. Moreover, Komakech (2016) defined public procurement from the perspective of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority to mean the “acquisition by purchase, rental, lease, hire purchase, license, tenancy, franchise, or any type of works, services or supplies or any combination” (p. 20).

2.3.2 E-procurement in the Public Sector

Abdullahi et al. (2019) report that several public procuring agencies in both developed and developing countries have shown interest in adopting electronic procurement processes in response to the challenges related to the traditional manual procurement system. However, the term e-procurement has been defined lack of a standardised e-procurement system differently. Subramanian and Shaw (2004) expressed e-procurement as internet-based ICT to execute some or all phases of the procurement process. Accordingly, using the internet and related ICT applications at any procurement process stage, rendering it an e-procurement transaction. Vaidya (2012) regards the e-procurement system as encompassing e-tendering, e-marketplace, and e-catalog management systems. In addition to these, Vaidya, Sajeev, and Callender (2006) identify additional tools commonly used in public procurement, such as e-RFQ, e-invoicing, and e-auctions. Development of these tools alongside comprehensive market technologies stay developed by technology firms such as ComerceOne, Ariba, SAP, and Oracle, which according to Vaidya et al. (2006), are leading players in the e-procurement market. According to NSW Government (2003), e-tendering refers to automated communication and documentation accomplished through the internet of all information related to tendering. A more detailed definition remains provided by Kajewski et al. (2001), who defines e-tendering as electronic communication, publishing, accessing, receiving, and submitting information related to tenders and documenting. Sharing such information through the internet substitutes the conventional paper-based tendering process and increases the chances of attaining highly effective and resourceful business processes for the various parties involved.

Most of these definitions, however, focus on themes of Technology and processes. As a result, they cannot enlist all the articles necessary for public agencies to conceptualise e-procurement and its applicability in the public sector comprehensively to ensure a comprehensive assessment to meet the objective of this research by following the definition suggested by McConnell 2009). In his analysis of the factors affecting the adoption of e-procurement in the UK public sector, McConnell (2009) suggested using a holistic conceptualisation of e-procurement that borrows from themes of Technology (information and communication technology (ICT), processes, compliance/control, and people. This definition shows procurement agencies can ensure delivery of core procurement process via a spectrum of technology solutions bolstered by technological applications, people, processes, and compliance/control. Additionally, the definition highlights various considerations to stay accounted for in determining the preparedness of a public sector agency to adopt e-procurement systems.

Koorn et al. (2001) identified three types of e-procurement systems: seller e-procurement, buyer e-procurement, and Online Intermediaries. Despite the different techniques and sizes of e-procurement systems, NePP (2005) maintains that the rudimentary procurement process exhibits similarities across the entire spectrum of public sectors. That straightforward Technology is all that is needed to ensure the automation of standard procedures. While this assertion seems true from an e-procurement-tools perspective which is apparent in the private sector e-procurement, it is arguably not the case for public e-procurement processes. According to Patel (2009), public sector institutions pursue a diverse set of objectives in implementing e-procurement. The benefits associated with e-procurement cannot represent thought of as mere extensions of commercial e-procurement applications. The diverse nature of government agencies allows them to pursue a varied range of goals (Thai, 2001). In addition, despite various forms of e-procurement, it is arguable that e-procurement can remain broadly perceived as an end-to-end solution that incorporates and streamlines a wide array of different procurement processes in the entire organisation (Vaidya et al. 2006).

2.3.3. Preliminary Requirements

The process of organisational redesign to advance e-procurement involves a lot of procedures and necessary precautions. Before choosing the appropriate corporate design for promoting e-procurement practices, the function requires information concerning established firm budgets, resources, and foundation funds. First, any firm divides itself into different departments that collectively work on other goals aiming at its primary target. The two common types of departments include the functional and product departments. The first information needed would be the number of departments in the firm to assert the department’s specific roles. Second, the hierarchy or authority at the organisation also ought to remain checked appropriately. For instance, if a firm has an order of power that assists in allocating different tasks for finding clients, such resource material would prove helpful in adjoining the manual procurement structures to the e-procurement functions. The process also calls for the need to realise the span of control at the firm since it describes the individuals controlling the firm. The customers and clients of the firm are also vital as they portray the target market for the firm.

The needs of the individuals in the organisation are crucial for observation in developing fitting e-procurement frameworks. An adequate survey through questionnaires on the levels of satisfaction experienced at the firm would elaborate on individuals’ essential issues and needs. There are a few critical needs that the organisation ought to address in the process. The most crucial point entails the analysis of employee engagement and contribution to the e-procurement development practice based on data input and output (Komakech, 2016). Second, the study of a firm’s scope of function and operation, primarily domestic and multinational processes, helps develop precise e-structures for mitigating functions like purchasing power, rental expenses, supply chain systems, and licenses needed for effective procurement.

Also, the use of a unique software design is effective in the process. However, reference from other structures is essential since implementing procedures without looking at different models might be dangerous for the firm. The organisation also needs to find an alternative for sales and marketing. The engaging structure might not always build customer loyalty without flexibility and diversity (Mukuraetal, 2016). One of the significant problems facing organisational designers in developing e-procurement frameworks is the lack of compliance from organisations like legal bodies and international functions. Some firms might keep some information hidden from corporate designers that may alter the performance of the new designs (Abdullahi et al., 2019). Also, some firms have vast loads of data that an organisational designer has to go through to find the needle in the haystack. The process remains time-consuming and proven invaluable in cases where the designer finds no problems existent in the data.

Implementing effective e-procurement practices for any organisation also calls for the analysis of some potential issues that the redesign process must address and solve. First, analysis of the firm’s familiarity with various technological and software tools that assist in accomplishing the task is effective as a starting point for research. A software firm needs to have most of its employees well equipped and aware of advancements in Technology to implement an applicable e-procurement procedure (Abdullahi et al., 2019). The firm also needs to consider the role of such interventions in precise manners. For instance, the e-procurement function can remain focused on advancing employee engagement, finding more multinational customers, promoting government-business corporations, and enhancing supply chain channels. The firm’s use of personal relationships like friendship and collaboration with other parties to expand its functions also needs to remain effectively integrated into the e-procurement framework as a source of advancing applicability either in the public or private sector (McConnell, 2009).

Moreover, the hierarchy of e-procurement engagement at the firm ought to remain more expounded by issuing different responsibilities to different sections. For instance, the integration of e-procurement interventions like online intermediaries, buyer e-procurement, and seller e-procurement call for the implementation of functions congruent to the expected performance and business function (Koorn et al., 2001). Such duties should maintain qualified personnel for adequate performance and results. Hence, implementing e-procurement functions that fit the organisation’s needs called for effective categorisation of processes in different groups to solve the various issues recorded at the firm. The multi-dimensional nature of agencies implemented in the procurement processes signifies that the organisation maintains togetherness and focuses on primary roles, responsibilities, and personality of relationships during the conclusion of the problems where the whole team should meet and discuss strategies to implement issues. By answering the provided questions, the e-procurement process can remain streamlined to mitigate the entire organisation’s needs through departmentalisation and categorisation.

2.4 IS Implementation Strategy

As the internet has gained popularity in different realms and sectors, it has had a significant impact on the use of inter-organisational systems (IOS) technologies such as e-procurement. These include using information systems (IS) to streamline various processes and practices in organisations (Vaidya et al., 2006). However, IS implementation is not a one-time event. Literature about Information Systems (IS) describes the implementation as an effort that commences with the initial thought of creating a system and not concluding up to the point when the project is finalised or abandoned. Regarding this, Chan and Swatman (1998) argue that IS implementation stays at its best labeled as a process of organisational change that spans over an extended period. Cooper and Zmud (1990) proposed a six-phase framework for implementing Information systems (IS) in organisations; initiation, adoption, adaptation, acceptance, routinisation, and infusion. These phases explain two-stage experiences in adopting information systems in organisations whereby the first three phases (initiation, adoption, and adaptation) refer to immediate adoption by an agency or department. In comparison, the last three phases (acceptance, routinisation, and infusion) refer to secondary adoption by people slated to use the system. Acceptance refers to the commitment of users to utilise the system.

Further, Cooper and Zmud (1990) refer to routinisation as a situation whereby the system has become part of routine behaviour for all members rather than being perceived as a new thing. On the other hand, Cooper and Zmud (1990) describe infusion as the process through which IT application stays fully and comprehensively embedded within the work systems of an individual or an organisation. Relying on their direct experience in using IT applications and related knowledge acquisition processes, Jasperson et al. (2005) argued that during the infusion stage, individuals develop the capacity to use an IT system to the fullest potential. Given that e-procurement initiatives in various departments and agencies in Nigeria are still at their infancy stage, the six-stage model can lead the way towards identifying particular e-procurement initiatives.

In its 2002 study, the Consortium for Global electronic Commerce articulated that a substantial share of the preliminary value proposition remains un-attained in due course, mainly due to business processes, people, Technology, and organisation-related issues. Similarly, in its Local Government e-Procurement Strategy, IBM Global Services (2003) indicated that implementing e-procurement systems needs to ensure consistent development and roll out pertinent processes, techniques, and practices in the public sector. However, Saga and Zmud (1994) noted that it is not mandatory to strictly adhere to the six-phase model. As a result, phases can stay regarded as tasks, some of which can remain carried out simultaneously. Challenges related to implementing a single e-procurement adoption and implementation model emanate from the availability of several e-procurement applications in different domains of various organisations, impact on internal business processes, diversity in the adoption of e-procurement systems and buyers, and its influence on inter-public entity systems. In this regard, IBM opined that government entities ought to ascertain that implementation perspectives such as processes and practices, organisation and management, techniques, and technologies stay considered owing to their significance in the successful implementation of e-procurement (IBM, 2003).

2.4.1. Diagnosis with The Design Team

The engagement of the e-procurement process calls for the consideration of diverse business processes, organisational issues, people, and Technology. The process insists on the focus on the development of software that benefits the firm, especially after finding a niche market that has assisted the firm in developing exponential returns. The practice also calls for consideration of the organisation’s niche market to develop and grow while acquiring more clients through the charm and diplomacy of established functions (IBM, 2003). The task environment refers to the outside forces that affect the firm’s performance in different ways. The firm’s task performance is its customers, pertinent processes, and systems. For instance, customers are responsible for creating the demand for a specific product. Hence, firms need to integrate e-procurement practices that target niche products that assist the firm in achieving diverse goals like receiving a large number of customers or advancing relations with government agencies. In the case of customer acquisition, customer loyalty represents a positive character trait that the firm can preserve and engage as part of the e-procurement design development. The availability of customers willing to purchase the firm’s software also assists the firm in focusing on customers as its task environment.

E-procurement designs also need to focus on product differentiation. The organisation needs to analyse how it uses unique software designs that only the firm can provide to its clients. During the analysis of organisational performance, analysis of the uniqueness of the firm’s services and products is also effective in developing measurement tools effective in advancing considerations regarding the efficiency or lack of efficiency realised through the procurement practices (IBM, 2003). Any firm understands that standing out from a group and maintaining uniqueness ensures success for the business. The essence of product differentiation is to mark a product as different from other products. The consumer market remains saturated by significant levels of competition from various firms that provide similar products. A customer can easily spot a unique product. The differentiation in the product drives more customers to the product.

Implementing e-procurement functions and designs must maintain a unique software design to stand out amid the competition. The Technology produced by the firm contributes as the general source of revenue for the firm. Realising the structure engaged in diverse organisations effectively highlights the essential parties involved in decision-making and the procedures and facilities used to engage with employees, the internal environment, and external surroundings (IBM, 2003). For instance, analysis of an organisation’s structure that includes self-taught, tech-savvy, and self-taught employees signifies that implementing e-procurement needs to remain congruent to the findings of the established workplace environment. Implementing effective designs for e-procurement also call for the measurement of the firm’s revenue, expenses, and taxes. The recorded revenue helps the firm to realise whether it record profits or losses. Hence, the implementation of departments like the human resource systems in the design plan and structure assists in showing the firm’s culture and legal considerations and their role in advancing the successful engagement of e-procurement (IBM, 2003).

2.4.2. Design for The Team

A few critical design principles need addressing in the case of developing fitting e-procurement practices. First, a self-reflection regarding the firm’s current condition and its manual and autonomous functions proves effective in demonstrating essential design frameworks for the procedure. Factors like the firm’s sense of purpose, differentiation of the firm’s product, and the firm’s distinction in the future are essential as the firm looks to move to a different design (Akaba, 2020). Also, the design principle on accountability is critical in the context of the organisational frameworks. Even though the organisation relies on the established team members to advance the performance, analysis of ways that the firm can advance engagement from other parties like government agencies and suppliers remains effective in designing and allocating distinct tasks to a multi-dimensional team needed for promoting e-procurement functions (Adebiyi et al., 2010). The firm’s management also needs to expand to accommodate more professionals who can cut down the responsibilities in the firm to small and manageable sections.

The organizational design of focus for implementing e-procurement structures can adopt the Functional organisational structure suitable for mitigating the diverse organisational challenges influencing the healthy environment at specific periods (Akaba, 2020). The system involves a bureaucratic structure that divides the firm into sales, marketing, and customer service departments, to mention a few. The advantage of the functional design is that it helps an organisation proceed in unison regarding set goals. However, the available structure sometimes involves difficulties in maintaining appropriate communication across the different departments. One major contingency with the arrangement is that it is old and unconventional in a fast-changing business world.

The formal divisional design would also prove appropriate for implementing e-procurement designs, especially for developing singular products. Moreover, integrating divisional structure functions among organisational teams remains suitable for advancing e-procurement in firms with different projects and products (Bureau of Public Procurement, 2008). Implementing such formal and informal designs would affect the proposed functional design mainly because of the existing relationships between employees and the owners. For instance, it would be difficult to have employees answer the sales or marketing manager while the employees previously responded to the firm’s owners. Hence, incorporating a new organisational design focused on advancing e-procurement aims to establish past, present, and future corporate strategies, aims, and goals.

2.4.3. Redesign Structure

The most appropriate design for implementing functional e-procurement structures for any organisation is the practical design structure. The format divides the firm’s operations into different sections, including customer service, marketing, and sales department. The functional form proves quite effective in cases where automation and technological interventions in the business environment led to disruptions concerning the established conventional practices and structures (Adebiyi et al., 2010. The functional design also assists in placing all employees into the appropriate sections concerning their expertise. One advantage of the available structure is that it maintains order as the firm moves in one direction. However, the design limits communication, especially in such an informal setting. The division of departments creates gaps between a different environment where, if not cautious, connection in the firm might deteriorate. The primary contingency associated with the functional structure is that it is outdated. However, it remains valid. The operational system will address issues like sales where the owner’s wife can benefit from acquiring a qualified team to assist her in pitching deals. Also, management and control at the firm will improve through the introduction of managers in different departments. Reduced levels of communication are an unintended consequence that might occur due to the incorporation of the new design (Adebiyi et al., 2010). The employees will take some time to adapt to the new organisational model to advance administrative e-procurement functions.

2.5 Challenges of Traditional Procurement Method

Several studies point out that there have been several attempts to adopt an entirely electronically supported procurement system in Nigeria. However, as Akaba (2020) notes, Nigeria’s procurement system is still characterised and fraught with several manual processes and procedures. This point of view is similar to that of Adebiyi et al. (2010). In their paper that sought to identify drawbacks innate in Nigeria’s government procurement system. Adebiyi and his colleagues noted that various processes of government procurement procedure ranging from project bid invitations, choosing successful bidders, and project completion remain mainly done Adebiyi et al. (2010) manually. The authors further articulated that purchase order processing is not done on time, and delivery dates are usually not met. In its 2008 procurement procedure manual, the Nigeria Bureau of Public Procurement associated the failure of the country’s National Carrier, Nigeria Airways, to the flawed procurement system. Consequently, the Nigerian Government and Nigerians have had to bear the effect of malfunctioning the procurement system for many years (Bureau of Public Procurement, 2008). According to the African Development Bank (2009), public procurement constitutes about 70% of government expenditure in African countries. The approach makes public procurement activities critical to the day-to-day government operations and thus includes the country’s economic grading focal point. The intensity of challenges of the traditional procurement system remains further emphasised by Adebiyi et al. (2010), who explains that the conventional procurement systems in various government ministries and departments suffer from problems. One of them is heavy reliance on paperwork. These unwarranted delays may take up to six months during the processing of tenders/orders, inadequate transparency, and formation of cartels by renowned contractors with the aim of overwhelming competition.

Other problems include a human interface in various stages of the procurement process, contractor’s unawareness of advertised tenders, and discretionary treatment throughout the entire procurement system (Adebiyi et al., 2010). The problem of delay got reemphasised in a2016 report by the World Bank Group, which indicated that payment delays by procuring entities are rampant and constitute a significant impediment for the participation of small and medium enterprises in the government procurement sector. The report indicated that timely payment for procurement services occurs only in a third of the economies, with delays reported to take as long as 180 days (The world Bank Report, 2016).

Although corruption is generally identified as a common problem for the entire continent of African, Adebiyi et al. (2010) explain that corrupt practices are common in Nigeria’s public procurement system, with more than 45% of contractors reported being willing to allure public officials with gifts to be awarded government contracts. Further, Olatunji, Olawumi and Odeyinka (2016) note that the problems associated with the country’s public procurement system have persistently been experienced despite enacting the Public Procurement Act of 2007, whose intention is to was to introduce competitiveness, transparency, professionalism and value for money. On top of these challenges, Lysons and Farrington (2006) faulted the traditional procurement for having inefficiencies related to a pattern of non-value adding clerical processes whose implications include longer periods of order processing and excessive transactional costs.

In his doctoral thesis, McConnell (2009) provided an all-encompassing list of problems of a traditional procurement system, which he grouped into four broad categories: process, Technology, compliance, and people. Process-related problems include slow processing of tenders, large volumes of paperwork, a high number of errors, difficulty in speeding up delivery, bureaucratic processes, and increased government intervention. Technology-related problems have to do with compromised quality of data and lack of data synchronisation (McConnell, 2009). People-related challenges can significantly impact both process and technology-related concerns and include internal regard for procurement. Lastly, the compliance-related problems entail the failure of procurement entities to adhere to procurement plans (McConnell, 2009). Elsewhere, the Asian Development Bank (ADB)described traditional paper-based procurement processes as encompassing problems such as lack of management information needed to ensure efficiency and productiveness of public procurement, exorbitant compliance costs, redundant procurement processes, and ineffective procurement procedures (ADB, 2013).

Problems associated with the current traditional paper-based procurement system are among the elements chosen for this study. Exploring these problems are some of the drivers that may prompt the Bureau of Public Procurement to see the need to adopt and implement e-procurement systems. Given that e-procurement is one of the core issues in digital Government, many public sector entities need to understand how adopting e-procurement systems can help address the problems associated with the traditional paper-based procurement system. Without awareness of the problems with the current paper-based procurement, it would be quite impossible for the management at the Bureau of Public procurement to envision the need for adopting an e-procurement system.

2.6 Potential Challenges for Adopting E-Procurement

Effective implementation of e-procurement can be a big challenge due to the complex nature of e-procurement systems and the requirement to make a significant initial investment (Chitengo, Hanif &Mvonye, 2016). Rajkumar (2001) purport that related managerial challenges can hinder the successful implementation of e-procurement systems. Consistent with the claim by Rajkumar (2001), Akaba et al. (2020) indicated that developing countries such as Nigeria continue to struggle with a wide range of issues such as lack of transparency and trust among key players in the e-procurement process and complex process structures. Further, Williams and Hardy (2007) indicated that adoption of e-procurement initiatives could be hindered by high implementation costs, inability to justify costs, lack of sufficient technological infrastructure needed to support fore-procurement, issues related to systems integration and lack of supplier readiness. The author reemphasised that lack of supplier readiness was a significant factor influencing adopting an e-procurement system (Williams& Hardy, 2007). Panayiotou et al. (2004) noted that the adoption of e-procurement in the Greek public sector was affected by factors such as transparency requirement in procurement, complex nature of procured goods/services, regulatory and legal constraints experienced by various institutions in the public sector, and challenges related to public policy in the country. In another study conducted in the same years, Hawking et al. (2004) noted that implementation of e-procurement can be impaired by lack of a single e-procurement solution, which impairs procurement standardisation and results in limited supplier adoption.

Similar to these findings, a research article by Aman and Kasimin (2011) about e-procurement implementation by the Malaysian Government indicated that legal and administrative procedures presented a core challenge in system specification due to complex processes and the involvement of several legacy systems varied formats of data. Consistent with this, Kassim and Hussin (2010) noted that inflexible legal and administrative procedures rendered the system incompatible with the current legal requirements for e-procurement. In a groundbreaking study focusing on procurement in military organisations, Liao et al. (2003) noted that changing the already established procurement practices and processes can be a big challenge impeding the adoption of e-procurement solutions. In this regard, people in a public sector agency may be unwilling to adapt and use new e-procurement solutions. In another study, Akaba et al. (2020) found that adopting blockchain-based procurement was hampered by the absence of funding for full implementation of e-procurement solutions, poor set up of infrastructure, absence of political will on the government side to implement required technology policies, resistance to change from top officials and inadequate knowledge of blockchain technology among various stakeholders who play a critical role in the implementation of IS solutions.

Understanding the potential challenges for adopting e-procurement can help establish how they can impact the adoption of e-procurement. In the absence of a clear understanding of potential challenges with the adoption of e-procurement, it would not be easy to determine the extent to which the public procurement agency has been involved in resolving these challenges in preparation for the successful adoption of e-procurement.

2.7 Level of BPP Commitment Required for Effective Implementation of E-Procurement

Some studies have identified various attributes that require the top management of a public procurement entity to ensure effective implementation and adoption of e-procurement systems. In their study that involved a consolidation of past studies focusing on innovation, Kwon and Zmud (2007) identified five categories of variables capable of influencing the adoption of information systems (IS), including task characteristics, innovation characteristics, individual characteristics, environmental characteristics, and organisational characteristics. The authors further proposed that the degree of importance of these variables differ depending on the type of Technology adopted or context. For instance, individual factors such as education, age, and level of skills are imperative for an individual’s adoption of Technology, unlike the case of innovation adoption at the organisational level. Other studies have identified a wide range of factors affecting the adoption of e-procurement systems. Additionally, Akaba et al. (2020) proposed criteria to be followed when assessing the effectiveness of adopting and implementing blockchain-technology based solutions, including affordability, ease of use, ability to integrate communication and feedback mechanisms, transparency, interoperability with the current databases, and insightful awareness of ICT systems (Akaba et al., 2020).

Most of these studies postulate that factors influencing the adoption of e-procurement solutions are independent of each other. In contrast, research articles such as Pishdad and Haider (2013) indicate public sector agencies need to focus on both the internal and external circumstances of their organisation to ensure the effective adoption of ICT systems. In their study that sought to explore the external and internal factors that can influence the adoption of enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Pishdad and Haider (2013) found that the process of ERP implementation involves aligning Technology with organisational, technical, economic, social, cultural together with other external environmental institutions. They concluded that successful implementation and adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) systems is dependent on mutual interactions amongst several organisational, cultural, environmental, social and other institutional factors (Pishdad & Haider, 2013).

Even with the problems associated with traditional paper-based procurement, no significant transition to e-procurement has taken place. As noted in various research articles, including Hawking et al. (2004) and Liao et al. (2003), this delay by public sector organisations to implement e-procurement systems is not caused merely by Technology or cost-related aspects but rather a combination of myriad factors. These factors that can potentially impact various domains of an organisation, including processes, systems, and practices, reveal that a public sector agency should maintain an organisation-wide commitment to ensure successful implementation of e-procurement. In the absence of a vivid articulation of various positive and negative success factors that guide the implementation of an e-procurement strategy, it would be quite impossible to determine how a government entity is prepared to adopt and implement e-procurement initiatives.

2.7.1. Production Process

The organisation’s e-procurement implementation and production process can serve as a service provider that strongly relies on the internet to provide its services. The use of websites to offer and integrate affiliate programs that connect customers to sellers of various options is an approach that assists firms in integrating intended functions like advancing firm relations, advancing transparency, and accountability with sales. The issuance of such effective sales and services offered by the organisation can then follow a specific procedure developed by the e-procurement design. First, the e-procurement design and process can engage technology functions as a means of engaging the business environment to establish supply chains, advancement of transparency in transactions, and the implementation of applicable public programs supported by government agencies focused on controlling both public and private purchases (Manoharan and Holzer, 2012). The process can carry on to other relevant sectors like the billing and shipping section essential because it assists the client to fill in appropriate information regarding the location, resource allocation, and revenue generated that all prove important for the work environment.

On the other end, once the firm’s system remains implemented and receives the order, the e-procurement design can continue to arrange the requests using a specific algorithm that combines rules from various locations to prevent confusion of laws (Stefanelli 2002). Therefore, such a design can help streamline organisational functions and relationships to advance goal achievement and the engagement of effective stakeholders suitable for engaging the public and private procurement sectors of the business. Also, the order arrangement depends on the order time. Therefore, the firm’s e-procurement function needs to find convenient approaches to serve customers and engaged parties with consistency and timely fashions that use the first-come, first help approach to serving. For instance, the packaging, order, and confirmation of the order process need to take a few minutes to complete to engage procurement functions properly.

Adopting service-provision processes through e-procurement also needs to proceed with caution since the approaches may also pause some challenges from the customer’s perspective (Stefanelli, 2002). Many customers remain hesitant to share their private information, especially regarding credit cards, fearing fraudulent activity. However, e-procurement functions need to use help and support from firms like SSL and Secure Sockets Layer that assist in maintaining confidential information confidential, especially on the internet. Also, the brick and motor customers need to note that e-procurement functions possess return policies that require few procedures regarding any issues with products purchased. Once the order is complete, the customer can then track the progress of the request using the order number of the product. The acquired customer’s order possesses a tracker that helps the customer to anticipate the outcome at a given time frame rather than anxiously waiting for the product.

2.7.2. Development and Manufacturing Process

The integration of effective e-procurement practices also calls for considering the organisation’s main functions and structures. For instance, Amazon does not develop or manufacture any of its products. The firm is an online retailer, meaning that it acts as an intermediary between the sellers and the buyers. However, the buzz of activity residing in any Amazon warehouse worldwide serves as the firm’s development and manufacturing process. The Amazon warehouses carry all goods and services that customers continuously purchase online. The warehouses incorporate efficiency in the use of Technology together with the help of human resources. Different isles in the warehouses possess different names. Large products that require effort from a group or machine to move belong to the pallet land, while small products like mobile phones or computers pile up on shelves to form the tower section of the warehouse. Many pickers working in the Amazon warehouses pushcarts transport the products from the shelves to the delivery trucks. Similarly, organisations are responsible for ensuring that e-procurement structures match organisational culture, communication practices, technological updates, and environmental influencing factors.

The incorporation of various software systems through e-procurement practices assists in the efficiency of the delivery process. Amazon boasts not only of affordable prices but also timely delivery, meaning that any mishaps in the warehouse can prove expensive. A system like Anytime Feedback Tool assists employees at the warehouse to continually measure the progress inefficiency at the warehouse (Kwon and Zmud, 2007). The reliance on software for efficiency continues to bear fruits for firms that perform continuous organisational assessment since the approach assists with assessing public demands and offers firms room to fit in the most effective and precise procurement functions fitting the presented environment or situation. E-procurement software is also effective as it advises the employee on the specific position of the sales and marketing, communication patterns, and the collection of information necessary for reducing time wastage dependent on human memory. The simplification of the tasks to the letter brought about by e-procurement functions remains set to advance organisational performance through functions like performing more orders at a limited time. Providing appropriate locations of products in the warehouses helps a lot to the extent where the warehouses need not arrange products in perfect order.

Integrating software and human performance through e-procurement practices contributes to advanced firm performance, effective implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and the advancement of mutual interactions among organisational parties and other groups like government agencies in fast and effective ways (Pishdad & Haider, 2013). Such productivity levels ensure the competent and consistent rise of the firm. Moreover, since e-procurement offers the firm room for integrating diverse technological improvements, the more the firm grows, the more engaged the re-structure gets. For instance, the implementation of additional supportive software on the e-procurement software can assist in data collection and research analysis that highlights the most effective, consistent, and precise procurement practices needed for different functions.

2.7.3. Marketing Strategy

The implementation of e-procurement functions also offers organisations insight into effective marketing structures adaptable in different situations. For instance, Liao et al. (2003) note that most public organisations demonstrate increased delays regarding adopting suitable procurement functions and structures. E-procurement can assist with such functions by first using appropriate analysis, especially regarding the aspects affecting business function like buying behaviour of its customers to assist in realising added advantage regarding picking on customers’ preferences. The knowledge of the customers’ preferences helps a lot in accomplishing potential long-term clients (Liao et al., 2003). Such procurement can assist in offering consumers legal provisions, product descriptions, and communication patterns that prove effective in maintaining customer retention and help with maintaining transparency and accuracy regarding diverse business functions. Therefore, the implementation of e-procurement can serve as a marketing tool for many organisations looking to advance their market share, acquire data from government agencies, or seek business loans from financial institutions while maintaining suitable and applicable supply chain channels.

E-procurement also strives to develop an array of products and services issued by the organisation to engage the public in organisational growth through decision-making and purchasing. The integration of diverse products and services through such platforms spread the domains considered effective among organisational functions to promote mutual interactions within the organisation and with parties like surrounding culture and environment (Pishdad & Haider, 2013).  Hence, once consumers realise that they can engage with different departments of an organisation, make purchases, and engage in the transparency practice of the firm, such approaches remain set to advance customer loyalty and engagement.

2.7.4. Financial Strategy

E-procurement’s financial strategy majorly relies on the use of Technology to reduce production costs, engage ICTs, and advance organisational collaboration as a means of advancing transparency to perform more with less (Pishdad & Haider, 2013). The procedure points to the notion that e-procurement is an assistive tool that organisations can use to mitigate financial strategies, expectations, and goals. The introduction of technological advancement in the line of work by organisations through e-procurement offers room for advanced engagement and interaction with financial institutions and government agencies through analysis of previous research that helps to highlight established financial burdens and opportunities suited for distinct organisational environments. Moreover, technological advancements as a financial strategy continue to save time for firms since the integration of various e-procurement programs perform faster and more effectively than human beings.

The use of competitive advantage in the online retail market also assists organisations to benefit and retain a high client base compared to other stores. The competitive advantage implemented through e-procurement strongly dwells on the firm’s capability to use data to customise the customers’ experience while shopping on the site. E-procurement uses data to store customers’ preferences, which proves beneficial because firms get to record and manage established data to promote collaboration and transparency (Pishdad & Haider, 2013). Incorporating assistive technologies like ICTs that promote workplace collaboration also reduces the overhead costs required in employing the workload.

2.8 The Prospects for Implementing E-Procurement in the Public Sector

Public procurement is regarded as a critical function of government agencies. However, to achieve its intended functions, it suggested that it meet requirements for goods, services, systems and works in a timely fashion (Thai, 2001). Further, e-procurement is considered a reliable system and the disposition of the public sector to attain critical procurement goals such as transparency, accountability, integrity, good governance, and value for money (Chimtengo et al., 2016). In confirming Chimtengo, et al. (2016) assertion, Quinot and Arrowsmith (2013) contended that competition and transparency are two principal mechanisms through which organisations can achieve various objectives of public procurement. Additionally, it is argued that e-procurement systems have been considered an effective tool for initiating reforms in public procurement and instituting an environment that supports transparent and open procurement. While Feinstein and Stefanelli (2002) cautioned that technology systems could not replace the contribution of sound management, e-procurement has been considered a critical tool for achieving organisational goals such as improved effectiveness of public programs, advanced public administrative processes, and enhanced control of public purchases. Some studies indicated that the benefits of e-procurement are not limited to the public procurement entity but rather can be experienced throughout the country. Manoharan and Holzer (2012) argued that the successful adoption of e-procurement systems enables countries to achieve benefits such as reduced marketing costs and improved market accessibility.

Awareness of the prospects of e-procurement systems can be a key driver for public sector agencies to adopt an e-procurement system. Although several research articles have revealed that adopting an e-procurement system is determined by complex factors, having insight into the actual and potential prospects can influence the willingness of the top management in a procurement agency to adopt a procurement solution supported by information systems. Lack of an understanding of the prospects of e-procurement would not prompt management at public procurement agencies to see the need of adopting e-procurement systems.

2.9 Literature Review Conclusion

Although there have been some studies on e-procurement implementation in the private sector, only a few detailed empirical studies focusing on e-procurement implementation in the public sector have been conducted. Several of these research articles provide a comprehensive depiction of technological and process-based factors in e-procurement implementation. They do not consider the aspect of people, which is a significant element for the successful implementation and adoption of e-procurement systems. Several studies on the topic of e-procurement in the Nigerian public sector have been conducted. Most of these studies focus on the technology and process aspects of e-procurement. For example, Adebiyi et al. (2010) focused on developing and designing a prototype for e-procurement systems, while other studies such as Afolabi et al. (2020) proposed using e-procurement technologies to address problems eminent in the Nigerian public procurement system. An exception to these studies is Adebayo and Evans (2015). In their study based on the Nigerian perspective, they found that insufficient training of personnel concerning the use of e-procurement systems was a major impediment hindering the public sector organisations from achieving the full benefits of e-procurement. Nevertheless, insufficient training of personnel is one of the many factors affecting the adoption of e-procurement solutions. Thus, it cannot provide insight into critical success factors that can help define the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) readiness in Nigeria to adopt e-procurement.

Against this backdrop, it becomes impervious to conduct a further empirical study to examine the preparedness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to adopt E-Procurement solutions based on insight into the challenges innate in the current traditional paper-based procurement system, potential challenges of adopting e-procurement, prospects for implementing e-procurement, and the required involvement of BPP in ensuring effective implementation of e-procurement.



3.0 Introduction

The study sought to assess the readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to adopt an e-procurement system. This chapter includes the research strategy, research approach, research design, research method, data collection, study population, data analysis, and ethical considerations adopted in the study. The chapter is founded on the research questions that included:

  1. What are the challenges of the current paper-based procurement system?
  2. What are the potential challenges for adopting e-procurement?
  3. What level of BPP commitment is required for the effective implementation of e-procurement in Nigeria?
  4. What are the prospects for implementing e-procurement in the public sector?

3.1 Research Strategy

The study was primarily qualitative and purposed to heavily integrate personal viewpoints and opinions in the data collection process. Hence, an interpretive strategy was adopted. According to Sekaran and Bougie (2019), interpretivism requires researchers to interpret a study’s elements, integrating human interest into a study. The strategy got preferred for the study because it is related to the philosophical position of idealism and is applied to combine divergent approaches. Thus, the approach would enable studying the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) readiness to adopt an e-procurement system in a significant level of depth. Additionally, the primary data generated through interpretivism would be highly valid because it is likely that the data will be trustworthy and honest. Also, interpretivism was preferred as the research strategy because it would provide flexibility in reformulating the researcher’s past understanding and knowledge during the research process.

3.2 Research Approach

The study adopted a deductive research approach. Patten and Newhart (2017) assert that the approach is centred on formulating a hypothesis founded on a theory and then creating a research strategy to assess the hypothesis. This study began with a set of research questions and set out to answer them. The approach was to be achieved through collecting data from available literature about the implementation and adoption of e-procurement systems and combining it with raw data collected from BPP employees. A deductive approach remained selected for the study because it would allow the researcher to explain causal relationships between concepts and variables, such as potential challenges for adopting e-procurement and the level of the BPP commitment. Furthermore, the approach would enhance the possibility of generalising research findings to a certain extent.

3.3 Research Design

The research design encompasses the framework chosen to integrate the various elements coherently and logically, ensuring the research problem is efficiently addressed. It comprises the blueprint for collecting, measuring, and analysing data. The design of a study is broadly classified as either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method (Christensen et al., 2011).

  • The focus on quantitative research design is mainly used in cases where statistical conclusions are essential to gather actionable insights. Numbers give a better perspective to make vital business decisions. Insights from complex mathematical data and analysis prove very effective when making decisions linked with the future (Bernard and Bernard, 2013).
  • Focusing on qualitative research design, it is usually interested in establishing answers to the why and how questions of the research topic. Because of this, a qualitative research design is generally described as being subjective, and findings are collected in words as opposed to arithmetic.
  • Focusing on mixed-methods research design, it is a process to collect, analyse, and combines both quantitative and qualitative designs in one study to understand a research topic.

While quantitative and mixed-methods designs are widely used to guide the collection and analysis of data, they were deemed less appropriate for this study. Hence, the most suitable research design for the study was qualitative. In assessing the readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in adopting e-procurement, data was gathered from a review of the literature and also surveys. Therefore, the design is qualitative in that non-statistical data was to be gathered to inform the study. Qualitative research design or strategy works on analysing non-statistical data and thus identifying key themes that inform the conclusions (Taylor et al., 2015).

A qualitative research design was preferred for the study because it would allow the generation of information based on the research participants’ views, opinions, and past experiences that are more trustworthy and accurate. Additionally, the design would enable the researcher to amend questions based on the response and reactions they get from the respondents. This would help understand the respondents’ thoughts about the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) readiness to adopt an e-procurement system. Also, a qualitative research design got chosen because the study sought action to improve the adoption of e-procurement systems and study the impacts of the action that would stay embraced.

3.4 Data Collection

Both primary and secondary data collection methods got applied to respond to the research questions and achieve the objectives. Since both a qualitative and a quantitative study, first-hand information is essential in identifying the most recurring and challenging aspects in real life. In this case, the instrument used for collecting primary data was using interviews, as supported by (Frels and Onwuegbuzie, 2013; McDonald, 2015; Norlyk and Hall, 2014). The researcher aimed to ease communication and create a relaxing environment that would facilitate efficacy regarding sharing experiences and opinions. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used to probe and collect in-depth responses from the participants. A questionnaire was preferred as a guide in the interview because it is less costly to administer and offers relatively high validity of results. Additionally, it is a standout among the most appropriate techniques when a mass of data is needed within a short period.

In this study, the questionnaire comprised a demographic information section to gather information regarding the participants. The e-procurement readiness challenges section aimed to highlight readiness challenges from the BPP. The e-procurement environment section aimed to identify prospects for implementing e-procurement in the public sector. The questionnaire was administered to a group of individuals drawn from the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Therefore, the participants for this study were contacted through email, phone calls and some meetings were in person. In addition, frequent follow-up and engagement of the participants got conducted to ensure that the provided responses were clarified and accurate. An interview protocol got adopted to justify the accuracy and quality of the collected data.  The researcher consulted a wide range of published resources such as the Nigerian government publications, business documents, and statistical journals regarding secondary data collection methods. Precisely, the collection process involved surveying books, academic articles, and other sources pertinent to an e-procurement system adoption. According to Ghauri et al. (2020), secondary data can stay collected by linking the research questions and objectives with available resources or previous studies on the topic to generate new insights.

3.5 The population of the study

The study’s target population comprised BPP employees drawn from the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The primary reason for targeting these employees is because they are most suited to ascertain the depth of the challenges related to the paper-based procurement system. The employees were correct also to possess satisfactory data concerning their organisation’s approaches to adopting and implementing new technology practices, such as e-procurement. Furthermore, the employees are involved in different phases of the procurement procedure; as such possess broad experience that would assist them in envisioning the potential readiness of e-procurement and challenges that may get encountered.

To select the participants to be comprised in the final sample, a purposive sampling technique was used. Hennink et al. (2020) highlight that purposeful sampling is a technique majorly applied in qualitative research to find and select information-rich sources for the most efficient usage of inadequate resources. Purposive sampling was used because of its flexibility, which would allow researchers to save time and money. The sampling technique was also used because it remained perceived that all the target participants took part in procurement functions at different organisations. Hence, they were positioned to answer all the research questions successfully. It was convenient for the researcher to identify the right respondents in various interest categories through purposive sampling.

3.6 Data Analysis

According to Gill (2014) and Irwin (2013), data analysis involves the evaluation of pertinent information. In this study, the process of data analysis entailed listing the data and evolving the groupings, screening the data for emerging and underlying themes, organising recurring themes into relevant groups and authenticating them against the transcripts from the interviews. Some of the interview questions that were used or generated qualitative data include; which strategies are being adopted to reduce the costs of procurement and delays in the fulfilment of contracts, inquiry on barriers encountered in the implementation of the strategies, the adoption of technological strategies and how to improve the Bureau of Public Procurement in terms of adopting e-procurement. Thematic analysis was used as the primary method to analyse the collected data. According to Gliner et al. (2016), thematic analysis is a technique to analyse qualitative data that encompasses assessing a data set for identifying, analysing, and reporting repetitive patterns. It is a technique to describe data and entails understanding the process of selecting codes and making codes. Thematic analysis was considered for this study because of its flexibility to be applied within a broad range of epistemological and theoretical contexts and used in various designs, study questions, and sample sizes. Also, the analysis technique is beneficial for finding out about an individual’s experiences, views, and thoughts. Hence, thematic analysis was a great choice because the study’s aims and objectives involved understanding an individual’s experience or idea of e-procurement system adoption. The thematic analysis involved three steps. First, the collected data was coded. Coding included categorising data. Codes were mainly words that represented themes and ideas about e-procurement system adoption and associated challenges. Second, themes, patterns, and relationships got identified. Common themes, patterns, and relationships remained identified within responses of sample group members concerning the specified codes. Lastly, the data got summarised. The research findings got connected to the aim and objectives of the research.

3.7 Ethical Considerations

Ethical issues need to be considered during the process of data collection. Various ethical considerations remained included in the study. Firstly, informed consent was considered by having all the participants fully informed about the study’s purpose in the research. Informed consent was executed as guided by Walliman (2010) observation that it ensures the respondents make an informed decision about whether they will participate in the research or not. Second involved voluntary participation to ensure the respondents were free from coercion and free to withdraw their participation at any time without any consequences. The third involved prioritising confidentiality by guaranteeing any information provided by the respondents was not to be made available to or accessed by anyone but the researcher. Lastly, anonymity remained ensured by conducting the research online to enhance the anonymity of the respondents.




The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the e-procurement readiness of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). This chapter contains the findings and the interpretation of the study results that attempted to answer the research questions as derived from the objectives. The analysis remains organized based on research objectives and research questionnaires.

Analysis of Administered Questionnaires

As stated in chapter three (3), a total of 103 sets of questionnaires were administered to various Government Agencies in the selected research area with Abuja via e-mail. Out of the 103 sets of a questionnaire survey distributed,46 submitted the study, representing a response rate of nearly 45%, were adequately filled and returned. Table 1. gives the breakdown of the administered questionnaires based upon the number of responses obtained.

Table 1: Breakdown of Administered Questionnaires

No. Distributed 103
No. Returned 46
Percentage response 44.66%   ≈  45%

Source: Online survey 2021

Demographic Characteristics

A profile of the respondents was cross-tabulated in order to look at the relations of Age Group, Gender, Grade Level, Work Experience, Education Level, and Internet Knowledge Level

Age Group

Table 2: Distribution of Age Group

Age Group N Percent Valid Percent
25– 35 Years 13 28.3 28.3
36- 45  Years 17 36.9 36.9
46 – 55 Years 12 26.1 26.1
56 – 65 Years 4 8.7 8.7
TOTAL 46 100.0 100.0



Table 3: Distribution of Gender

Gender N Percent Valid Percent
MALE 38 82.6 82.6
FEMALE  8 17.4 17.4
TOTAL 46 100.0 100.0


Grade Level

Table 4: Distribution of Grade Level

GL N Percent Valid Percent
07 – 10 13 28.3 28.3
12- 14 24 52.1 52.1
15 -17 9 19.6 19.6
TOTAL 46 100.0 100.0


Work Experience

Table 5: Distribution of Work Experience

Year Bracket N Percent Valid Percent
1-5 years 12 26.1 26.1
6-10 years 11 23.9 23.9
11-20 years 16 34.8 34.8
Above 20 years 7 15.2 15.2
TOTAL 46 100.0 100.0


Education Level

Table 6: Distribution of Education Level

Education Level N Percent Valid Percent
High School 3 6.5 6.5
Diploma/NCE 8 17.4 17.4
First Degree 24 52.2 52.2
Masters Degree 11 23.9 23.9
TOTAL 46 100.0 100.0


Internet Knowledge Level

Table 7: Distribution of Internet Knowledge Level

Internet Knowledge Level N Percent Valid Percent
Poor 2 4.3 4.3
Average 12 26.1 26.1
Good 23 50.0 50.0
Very Good 9 19.6 19.6
TOTAL 46 100 100



E-Procurement Readiness Challenges

The e-procurement readiness challenges remained identified and the response given using a Likert scale to show the impact of each identified challenge. Descriptive statistics were as summarized in the table below.


Table 8: Descriptive statistics

Descriptive N Mean Std. Deviation Mean Ranking
Resistance  to change 46 3.83 0.38 1
Lack of awareness of the Technology among procurement officer & contractors 46 3.64 0.605 2
Staff Skills 46 3.32 0515 3
Legislation & Regulation 46 3.32 0.887 3
Procurement Policies 46 2.81 0.537 4
Transparency of Staff 46 2.4 0.614 5
Loss of Confidentiality 46 2.13 0.536 6
Corruption 46 2.13 0.536 6
Infrastructure and Web Services 46 2.13 0.448 6
Competition from Competitors 46 2.06 0485 7
Lack of standard to guide Implementation 46 2.04 0.509 8
Cost of System Acquisition 46 1.98 0.571 9
Overall Mean   2.64 0.54  

Descriptive statistics gives us the nature and characteristics of the data. The mean rankings show the respondents’ degree whether they agree or disagree with the questions based on the mean of the responses. The means remained calculated from the coded responses, one representing strongly disagree and five representing strongly agree.

Factors for E-procurement readiness


The study’s first objective was to determine the factors that affected e-procurement readiness in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). From the study findings, the main engage factors included Technology, organization’s finance, leadership and integrity, legal framework, ethics and attitudes, procurement policy and national law, e-procurement adoption and staff II.T.adequacy, and government support.

The study’s second objective was to determine the e-procurement readiness levels of public procurement departments in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). The readiness level included the analysis of the ICT integration levels, the share of electronic ordering, and purchasing perspectives. Regarding ICT integration levels, the majority of the respondents stated that they did not have their systems integrated with that of the supplier. Also, regarding the extent and levels of electronic purchases, the findings showed very few electronic ordering and assets from the procurement departments. Most stated that they do not make use of online purchases. These findings imply that public procurement departments have a lot of sensitization regarding the benefits of e-procurement. Since the study showed no economic challenges with the acquisition of e-procurement systems, the only issue remaining is making use of the human resource in the adoption of the system.

The third objective of the study was to determine the challenges of e-procurement readiness in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and ways of overcoming the challenges. The study identified three main obstacles (in order) from the responses and the mean scores to e-procurement readiness

Staff skills:

Resistance to change:

Lack of awareness of the new Technology

Calculate your order
Pages (275 words)
Standard price: $0.00
Open chat
Hello 👋
Thank you for choosing our assignment help service!
How can I help you?