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CSO blames abuse of procurement laws for Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit

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 CSO blames abuse of procurement laws for Nigeria s infrastructural deficit
CSO blames abuse of procurement laws for Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit

1 By Jessica Dogo

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2 The Public and Private Development Center (PPDC) revealed that the abuse of public procurement laws was responsible for Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.

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3 PPDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Nkem Ilo said at a panel discussion Thursday in Abuja, which discussed “accountability mechanisms in Nigeria” and launched a scoping study in the states of Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna.

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4 Ilo, who was represented by Gift Maxwell, the centre’s chief operating officer (COO), said that in 2016, the center successfully championed and piloted Open Contracting Data (OCDS) standards in Nigeria through its platform- conformal form called Budeshi (www.budeshi.ng).

5 She explained that Budeshi assigns a unique identifier to contracts and ensures that contracts can be tracked from the design phase of the project to the delivery of the project.

6 “A disruption of this process, through fraudulent or corrupt practices, mismanagement of funds, ineffective enforcement of public procurement laws, would therefore lead to an infrastructure deficit.

7 “Over the past five years, we have supported seven states in Nigeria, including Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna states, in the development and deployment of their open contract portals.

8 “This is about ensuring transparency and accountability in public procurement processes in Nigeria, increasing citizen participation in governance, improving service delivery and ultimately, ” ensure value for money.

9 “Public procurement is the most important way the government provides basic social and social services,” she said.

10 It has stated that such services are necessary to accomplish government missions in a timely, prudent and efficient manner and that they are in many ways the lifeblood of most government programs and services.

11 “In the same vein, public contracts are carried out with taxpayers’ money. Therefore, governments are expected to deliver them effectively and efficiently, with high standards of conduct to ensure high quality service delivery, ”she said.

12 She added that this would also protect the public interest, as citizens should at all times have unrestricted access to public information, especially information on public spending.

13 The Ilo noted that as part of the centre’s continued efforts to improve public procurement practices in Nigeria, it had conducted research on tax transparency and accountability mechanisms in parts of the country.

14 Between August and September 2021, PPDC, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, conducted research and scoping study on tax transparency and accountability mechanisms in Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna.

15 “The study assessed current levels of transparency and accountability in governance processes in states.

16 “The objective is to identify the main challenges that hinder the effective implementation of tax reforms and open contract data standards (OCDS), and to design strategies for effective engagement and sustainable implementation”, she declared.

17 She added that the research findings provided a unique opportunity, as well as identified areas of support for states in improving their public procurement processes.

18 Likewise, achieve the indicators required for the World Bank’s projects on State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability (SFTAS), their Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments and other fiscal accountability milestones. ‘she aims to achieve.

19 “However, to get there, we don’t just have to have good intentions; we must also act intentionally. I would like to end by challenging everyone in this room to act intentionally by being the change we want to see in Nigeria. Let’s open it up to fix it, ”she said.

20 Speaking on the report, Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority Director General Ingr. Sanusi Yero, said state governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, does not interfere in procurement processes, adding that state procurement policy allows for the best execution of projects. .

21 Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) director Ms Andidiong Oko said government is the biggest spender of states because these people have to be careful about the government budget and the projects they are carrying out.

22 She said the state that has received an allocation from the federal government and generates revenue internally must be transparent and citizens must be involved in procurement from the planning stage.

23 In addition, the Executive Director of the Creative Minds Center for Youth and Community Development, Ms Ugochi Freeman, said that while citizens of Anambra State participate in procurement processes, civil society organizations must be encouraged to participate in the process.

24 The representative of the director general of the Ekiti State Procurement Office, Mr. Alabi Sunday, said the state had saved more than 20 billion naira on contracts, while the government was doing well in the matter. of physical transparency.

25 reports that PPDC is a citizen sector organization that seeks to promote increased citizen participation in governance to support better integrity in public sector governance.

26 Source: NAN

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