The Lagos government is taking steps toward the streamlining of its public procurement processes with the aim of curbing wastages and enhancing service delivery to the public.
At the flag off of a three-day workshop for chief executive officers of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAS) on Monday, the special adviser to the state governor on Parastatals Monitoring Office (PMO), Afolabi Ayantayo, said this has become necessary to enable the MDAS maximally deliver their statutory mandates.
According to Ayantayo, since the domestication of the Procurement Act in Lagos State in 2011 and the subsequent establishment of Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in 2012, many of the accounting officers in the parastatals were yet to have a clear understanding of the procurement processes as stipulated by the procurement law. The objective of the workshop, therefore, is to create a better understanding of the procurement processes and clear the grey areas in the procurement law.
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Themed “compliance with the procurement law and procedure as a catalyst to drive the T.H.E.M.E.S. developmental agenda of the current administration,” the training has been designed to keep the officers abreast with developments as they relate to public procurement.
Public procurement refers to the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods, services and works. Public procurement accounts for a substantial portion of the taxpayers’ money, governments are expected to carry it out efficiently and with high standards of conduct in order to ensure high quality of service delivery and safeguard the public interest.
Ayantayo argued that without effective procurement, hospitals would wait for drugs, teachers for textbooks, and cities for roads.
“Whenever a news item surfaces about drug shortages in hospitals, schools without textbooks or failing road networks, the reader may be looking at a procurement problem. Without efficient procurement, money gets wasted on a very large scale.”
“Many developing countries channel significant proportions of their budgets through the procurement system – even marginal savings can add up very fast. Again, public procurement is a part of the government that citizens see every day as lack of transparency and corruption in procurement directly affects citizens, especially when their expectations are not met due to inefficient and corrupt procurement systems,” the SA explained.
Permanent secretary in the PMO, Kafayat Ajenifuja, speaking also at the event, noted that companies and agencies owned or controlled wholly or partly by the government and were critical to the socio- economic development of a nation, hence the need to position them to effectively deliver service to the people.
“This workshop has been organised to re-engineer parastatals and agencies in the state for a better, effective and efficient service delivery bearing in mind the T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda of the administration of Governor BabajidesanwoOlu,” said Ajenifuja.
She explained that the training materials were assembled with the objective of stirring a better understanding of the procurement law and procurement processes.
The PS also hinted that the PMO would be undertaking project inspection and monitoring of all agencies as a further step to ensure efficient service delivery.
The workshop was organised by the PMO in conjunction with the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA).