June 13, 2024

Edo government urged to overhaul procurement system



By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Accountability Lab Nigeria and Open Contracting Partnership have urged the Edo State government to overhaul its procurement system which they said would enrich the state and empower its people. They also said action would fortify the reputation of the state.

This suggestion was part of the recommendation reached at the all-stakeholders consultative meeting in Benin City , the Edo State capital.

The Accountability Lab said that through the adoption of open contracting principles and other modern and transparent business processes,

the state government is positioned to elevate the quality of service, maximize fiscal value, and unlock access to international grants and investments.

Part of the statement reads “The objective of the meeting is to consolidate learnings, address challenges, and chart a way forward for sustained collaboration among all stakeholders involved in open contracting and e-procurement initiatives.

“The Edo Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA) and strategic government agencies through the use of technology are leading efforts to enhance transparency and efficiency in public procurement through open contracting and e-procurement.

“Despite significant progress, there are pressing challenges hindering the scalability, sustainability, and effectiveness of these initiatives. Challenges such as lack of awareness and citizen engagement, regulatory gaps, and insufficient capacity hinder the full realization of these initiatives’ benefits.

“Also, gender inclusivity in procurement is underemphasized, limiting the economic participation of women-owned businesses and impeding equitable development.

The organisers said the key messages of the programme are enhancing transparency and accountability, economic and social impact of good procurement system, legal and regulatory support and capacity building
The statement added, “Through the adoption of open contracting principles, the refinement of e-procurement processes, and unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability, the Edo State government is strategically positioned to elevate service quality, maximize fiscal value, and unlock access to international grants and investments.

“Such initiatives not only catalyze state development and attract investments but also position Edo as a beacon of transparent governance. By embracing these reforms, the state paves the path toward sustainable growth and prosperity.

“We earnestly urge the Edo State Governor and Government to heed our recommendations and take decisive steps to overhaul the procurement system, thereby enriching the state, empowering its citizens, and fortifying its reputation.”