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FG to involve CSO in NEEDS projects

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By  Franklin Alli

THE Federal Government has planned to involve the Civil  Society Organisation (CSO) in the assessment and monitoring of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).

The Special Adviser to the President on Civil Society Relations , Prince Chineme Ume-Ezeoke who dropped this hint during a two day ‘Implementation Support Workshop on Main streaming non State Actors in World Bank Operations and the 7-point Agenda’,  disclosed that discussion is at its peak with the procurement unit of the bank to also involve the Civil Society in the monitoring and evaluation of public procurement.

Ume-Ezeoke who was optimistic of positive outcome of the discussions explained that the public procurement deal when fully adopted would help to put in place a mechanism for tracking, monitoring and assessment of stakeholders compliance to implementation of public procurement process.

The Special Adviser equally noted that among other things it will support in the building of capacity of CSOs to track and monitor public procurement process of critical stakeholders at the federal level as well as advocate and engage selected pilot states on the enactment of the procurement law similar to the federal procurement act 2007.
He said the social development unit of the World Bank would help to fast track discussion on the CSOs involvement in the NEEDS assessment.

He stated that Civil Society groups to be engaged in the NEEDS projects would be specifically assigned to monitor NEEDS projects in six states and at the federal level.

The ultimate goal of all these he said is to accommodate the opinion of the poor and other vulnerable groups in both NEEDS and public procurement process particularly at the level of monitoring and evaluation.
He commended the World Bank Nigeria Country office and the Directorate of External Relations in Washington headquarters for their support.

Speaking also at the event , the Special Assistant to the Adviser Chudi Akude said within a short time the office was reopened a major transformation process has taken place which included partnership programmes with CSOs, effective encouragement to and communication with the CSOs.
Akude also said a two year strategic plan on the vision and activities of the office has been drafted and awaiting implementation adding that plans are on to hold a round table on CSOs input in the 7-point agenda and vision 20-2020 among others.

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