By Joseph Edegbo :
A Data Base Of Service providers including contractors, consultants and vendors is being developed by the Kaduna Public Procurement Authority with a view to identifying those who are capable to execute Government contracts.
The data will contain all the necessary information about their technical expertise and tax clearance certificate as part of the Authority’s commitment to ensuring transparency, accountability, competence and value for money.
An official of the Authority, Mr Ojeh Peter Onazi who represented the Director General, Engr Sanusi Yero disclosed this Monday, in a presentation at a two – day Public Policy Dialogue on Public Procurement Process in Kaduna State, being held in Zaria.
” Our electronic procurement process which involves registration and notification is also to ensure that people far away or globally can be part of the system”, he said.
He observed that having more people responding globally encourages competitiveness.
Mr. Oje Peter however observes that deployment of new technology from manual to electronic is challenging and stressed the need to inform and sensitize the people.
The domesticated procurement process, he added, was in line with the global best practices, making provision for citizens to make inputs for improvement.
In his own presentation on Strengthening Fiscal Transparency and Accountability the Procurement Process: Citizens Perspective on the OCDS, Mallam Muhammad Sani Kassim asks government to maintain transparency in what it does to win public confidence pointing out that awareness is still needed.
Kassim who is the Co-chair , Open Contracting, Open Government Partnership made a case for citizens to be provided with details of project cost, location, specifications among others.
Kassim however lauded the State Government’s political will by making available information on 965 projects costing about 70 billion Naira
He contended that citizens need enough procurement data and meaningful engagement that would improve their livelihood.
Another Civil Society Activist, Yusuf Goje presented a paper on results and benefits of improving Transparency in the Local Government Procurement Process: The case of improving service delivery.
Goje said if they really want to address poverty and development, focus must be on local government level.
He said there is transparency in budget formulation but not in the implementation.
What results in the wellbeing of the people, Goje noted, is development adding that communities should be able to see the benefits of projects sited in their areas.
Outlining the objectives of the Workshop, PERL State Lead Facilitator, Mr Adejor Abel said the forum provides opportunity for critical stakeholders to ensure that where they have issues, could easily be identified for solution.
The participants are also co- identifying barriers to effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the public procurement system in Kaduna State as well as identifying gaps hindering the timely and qualitative proactive disclosure of public procurement Data for diverse stakeholders’ needs.
Others are, securing realistic and time bound commitments to resolve identified gaps in both Public Procurement and disclosure of public procurement data.
Mr Adejor who also spoke of the need for citizens to track contracts emphasized that the delivery mechanisms are brought in to ensure that services are rendered to the people of Kaduna State.
The Workshop featured a drama by performing arts students of the Ahmadu University Zaria on the ills associated with contract execution involving officials conniving with contractors and roles of benefiting communities to check mate such abuses.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from across CSOs, Academia, MDAs, Legislators, Media, Persons With Disability and other professional bodies including Council for the Regulation of Engineering of Nigeria, COREN.