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Edo, UNDP train over 80 procurement officials on open contracting, accountability in procurement processes

The Edo State Government through State’s Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA) has trained over 80 procurement officials in the State on open contracting and accountability in procurement procedures.

The three-day training was organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) and Accountability Lab Nigeria (ALN).

The programme, held at the Government House in Benin City, had participants across various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who were trained on the State’s open contracting data standard portal.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of EDPPA, Henry Imogiemhe Idogun, said the training programme is aimed at bolstering the government’s efforts at leveraging technology to improve the procurement process in the State.

He said, “E-procurement is technologically driven and we are expanding. The data that comes from procurement helps in transparency as it will enable the people to know what is truly going on in the procurement processes.

“We are building a platform where data will be made available for those that need it, including CSOs and Non-Governmental Organizations as well as citizens who want to know who is getting what contract and how much such contract is worth.

“We have rebuilt the portal and want to retrain our officers across various MDAs attending the training on the use of the portal.

“Participants are all from Edo State. As procurement officers working in various ministries and MDAs, they will be the ones using the technology. They will be better equipped to do their job and will become more efficient and able to add value to the governance architecture of the State.”

He continued: “The visionary leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki has put the Edo State Public Procurement Agency in the limelight of the world as States and Countries have come to understudy the agency’s effectiveness on procurement matters. The transformation in the procurement process in the State is for the Edo of the future, doing what will last beyond him, laying the technology of the future.

“Procurement requires the buy-in of everybody to enable the process smoothly. We have development partners supporting us further to enable us to get better.

“Corruption is a big problem of the society not in procurement alone as the society is not helping issues. Corruption is a societal problem, and technology is one way of fighting it.”

On his part, the Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh said, “At the end of this training programme, particularly for procurement officers, we want to see procurement officers ensuring public access to information around procurement processes in the State.”

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