With the onboarding of additional 25 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the month of July 2021, a total of 82 MDAs are now on the e-procurement platform of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA).

The Director-General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, disclosed this while speaking during a sensitisation programme organised for some Accounting Officers of MDAs of the State, held at Protea Hotel, Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Onafowote explained that e-procurement enhances transparency, openness, inclusiveness, accountability and efficiency in public procurement, stressing that the system is, therefore, mutually beneficial to the State Government, Contractors and Service providers.

He further pointed out that the feedback the Agency received from the MDAs already onboarded on the e-procurement platform in the State had confirmed that the digitisation of the public procurement system was the right step the State Government had taken.

In a presentation made at the occasion, the Director-General explained how the e-procurement system operates to participants, who included Permanent Secretaries, Directors-General, General Managers and some other Chief Executive Officers of MDAs of the State.

Onafowote stated that the sensitisation programme was aimed at ensuring that key stakeholders in the public procurement process have a good knowledge and understanding of the operation of the e-procurement system, just as the organs of government are expected to work in synergy to achieve the objective of continuously enhancing the State Government’s policy on the Ease of Doing Business.

The Director-General also disclosed that the Agency was already holding discussions with the authorities of the Corporate Affairs Commission to further enhance the digitisation process of public procurement in the State.

He revealed that the Agency would soon release the equipment required for the smooth operation of the e-procurement process to Procurement Officers deployed to the various MDAs, urging Accounting Officers to show more interest in issues concerning public procurement since they would be required to defend the budgets of their MDAs at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget as well as at the State House of Assembly.

Onafowote noted that similar presentations were made to the State Executive Council and the Body of Permanent Secretaries, revealing that fora would soon be convened online to educate all the members of statutory Commissions as well as Heads of parastatal organisations in the State.

The participants commended the Agency for its efforts at enhancing the ease of doing business, through public procurement, and the deployment of e-procurement solution modules in the State public service.

They, however, urged the Agency to devise appropriate strategies to further simplify the public procurement processes and also, give consideration to the peculiarities of some MDAs and their assigned functions.

Emphasising the need for the continuous capacity building for Procurement Officers deployed to the various MDAs of the State, the participants said the training would put the staffers in good stead to properly guide Accounting Officers on matters involving public procurement.

Recall that a total of 97 MDAs were approved for integration on the e-procurement platform of the Agency in year 2021, out of which 72 were onboarded in the first three quarters of this year, while 10 had been earlier onboarded between year 2019 and last year. The remaining 25 MDAs approved for integration on the platform are scheduled for onboarding in the last quarter of this year.

Ayomide Oyewole

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