FREEPRESS – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to sustain ongoing reform in public procurement, urging local government councils to abide by the dictates of the law to sustain accountability and transparency in governance.
Obaseki who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osariodion Ogie Esq., made the submission at the one-day workshop on Public Procurement organised for Principal Officers of the state’s 18 Local Government Councils, in Benin City, Edo State.
The workshop was organised by the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA), to equip officials of Local Government Councils with the fundamentals of Public Procurement in line with the Edo State Procurement Law, 2012.
The governor noted, “This administration has existed for over 18 months and no petition has been written against us to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). This is because, at the state government level, we follow the procurement law processes. We want you at the local council level to emulate us.”
He said principal officials in local government councils need to be kept abreast of the procurement policies to enable them sustain good governance ideals at the grassroots.
He added that the principal officers from the 18 local government councils were the first set of local government officials in the state to be trained on the essentials of procurement.
Obaseki urged them to be familiar with the State Procurement Law to avoid fraudulent practices that will warrant investigation and prosecution by graft agencies.
“In Edo State today, all contracts above N10 million must be published on the website of the state’s Public Procurement Agency,” he added.
In his presentation entitled: Public Procurement: A Recipe for Good Governance and Economic Development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, EDPPA, Mr. Henry Imogiemhe Idogun,noted that the workshop was organised to deepen procurement reform in the state especially at the council level.
Idogun said the workshop was organised to ensure that council officers avoid mismanagement of funds and corrupt practices during procurement processes, noting, “Good procurement practices reduce cost and ensure value for money, and provide timely results. While bad procurement practices breed corruption.”
The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Jimoh Ijegbai, said the workshop would enlighten the participants on the essence of public procurement laws.
Ijegbai noted, “We have in place a system of reportage and a Directorate of Monitoring, this is important to avoid abandoned projects across the state.”