By Yinusa Ishola
The Ekiti government on Tuesday said the state Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has been selected to join other world teams in advancing global procurement reforms.
A statement by Mr Akin Omole, Ekiti Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation in Ado-Ekiti, said Ekiti BPP is the only team in Africa selected to participate in the highly competitive programme.
Omole said Ekiti BPP would join other teams from France, India, Mexico, Paraguay and the United States to enhance increased access, competition and participation with the support of Lift.
Omole said the selection of Ekiti BPP was part of the Open Contracting Partnership’s Impact Accelerator Programme Lift.
According to him, the selection of Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement is in recognition of the far-reaching reforms in public procurement that has been carried out in the state’s procurement regime.
“This include a transparent open contracting system that enables all contracts are published on a portal and available to all members of the public.
“Under the OCP-Lift, the Bureau shall benefit from up to 30,000 dollars financial support and over 200 hours of tailored assistance on change management, inclusion, open contracting strategies and more,” he said.
Omole said Kathrin Frauscher, the Deputy Executive Director of the Open Contracting Partnership, had expressed the organisation’s readiness to support BPP in achieving the desired objectives.
“Frauscher expressed optimism that these bold frontline innovators will leverage the untapped power of public procurement to achieve greater social inclusion.
“The OCP boss said it will also increase environmental sustainability and deliver more equitable government services,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Mr O’Seun Odewale, Director General, Ekiti BPP said, “We are proud of the recognition by the globally renowned Open Contracting Partnership.
“This is a result of the focus of the Dr Kayode Fayemi administration on governance as one of the cardinal pillars of the administration.
“Over the next 18 months, the Open Contracting Partnership will support the selected teams as they open and strengthen their procurement systems and build their technical capacity to make procurement more community-centered and effective for all.”
Odewale said the project would be implemented by the Ekiti BPP in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the New Initiative for Social Development.
Odewale disclosed that the Ekiti BPP’s Public Procurement Reform Programme (PPRP) had also took delivery of 100 units of Lenovo M10 Tablets.
He said the gadgets were categorised as additional working tools for Procurement Officers aimed at enhancing their productivity.
Odewale described the donation as unprecedented and the first of its kind in Ekiti.
He added that the gesture would go a long way to enhance the capacity of procurement specialists in the state.
“This is in addition to enhancing better and faster practice of due process,” he said.(NAN)