In its efforts to strengthen transparency, accountability and probity in the public procurement system, the Kwara State Government has organised a capacity building training on e-procurement system for procurement officials across government ministries, agencies and parastatals.
The two-day capacity building training, which commenced on Tuesday, focused on the newly deployed e-procurement software platform.
No fewer than 250 procurement officials and heads of government ministries, agencies and parastatals participated in the capacity building training exercise.
Stakeholders, who spoke at the capacity building training exercise, described the state government’s decision to adopt e-procurement system as a right step in the right direction.
The Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Kwara State chapter,
Engr Temitope Odetoye, described adoption of e-procurement system as a giant step towards achieving transparency and accountability in the public procurement system.
She said: “This is one of the ways to ensure that the Presidential Executive Order 5 is fully implemented which has to do with procuring authorities with specific reference to indigenous professionals so that we are given the preference.
“This step will also promote local contents and economic activities of Kwarans. So, on behalf of other professional bodies here present, we appreciate the government for this laudable step.”
In his remark, Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Architect, Kwara State branch, Arch Adekunle Adeyemo, said with the adoption of e-procurement system, Kwara is setting a pace for others to follow.
He added that even at the federal level, government has yet to fully adopt e-procurement system at the Bureau of Public Procurement at the federal level.
“So, for Kwara State to be championing this, it is very commendable. We must commend our Governor, we must commend Kwara State Procurement Agency. At the Nigeria Institute Architect, we are in full support of the Kwara State Procurement Agency, we are in full support of transparency in the procurement process that will create a level playing ground for everybody,” he said.
“To that effect, I want to say that migrating to e-procurement will be beneficial to all. I want to commend the state government and I want to urge all the participants to be attentive to learn what should.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Institute of Builders, Omokanye Raphael, appreciated the government for what he described as a laudable initiative.
“We are so grateful for being part of this programme today because the impacts of professional bodies would be felt in the scheme of things”, he said.
The Chairman, Kwara State Indigenous Contractors, Alhaji Idris Alaya, described the step to adopt e-procurement system as first of its kind in the history of the state.
He noted that the process would lead to transparency in the public procurement system.
Alaya however urged the government to always patronise indigenous contractors.
The Head of Service, Kwara State, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole, described the programme as a way of ensuring that everyone participates in the transparent process.
She said Kwara is known to be a civil service state, adding that “If we are going to continue to be a state and a state indeed, we all have to work together to change the narrative”.
While describing the programme as a major step in building investment friendly state, she observed that it is a very component of ease of doing business strategy of the present administration.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Alhaji Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, said the step was to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in the public procurement system.
Adoption of e-procurement system was to meet current global best practices in the public procurement especially as it relates to transparency in the financial transactions, he said.
He urged all the participants to be attentive and take the training and capacity building very serious because it is next level in the entire state.
General Manager of Kwara State Procurement Agency, QS Raheem Abdulbaki said e-procurement project is designed to sustainably increase the participation and volume of business activities conducted via the internet.
He added while public procurement law is intended to ensure competitiveness and value for money predicated on probity, accountability and transparency in the conduct of the State Public Procurement System, e-procurement, on the other hand, increases productivity and transparency while reducing costs.
“The advantages of e-procurement include improved collaboration, analysis and prompt decision making through centralised data management; reduction of waste, inefficiency and human error; creation and management of a supply chain with optimal performance and strong vendor relationship built through strategic sourcing, and redefining the role of procurement as a source of value and cost savings created through actionable insights and process optimisation,” he said.
“I want to express my unalloyed appreciation to Governor of Kwara State Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for mustering the political will in setting up this important agency after approving some amendments to the 2018 law in line with global best practices. Let me assure all that this Capacity Building and Training Programme, the first of its kind in Kwara State, is a bold step aimed at preparing the participants; all other key players in the public procurement cycle and the agency attach great importance to every aspect of the training as will soon be delivered by the consultant”.