The Lagos State Government will activate its e-procurement platform in three weeks to eliminate corruption in public procurement, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said yesterday.
In an address he sent to the second Lagos State Annual Public Procurement Summit, held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Ambode said the portal would be activated with the “key” Ministries of Works, Health and Education.
He was represented by the Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, at the summit, which theme was: “Entrenching transparency and prudence in the management of government’s procurement process: The responsibility of stakeholders”.
“By the end of 2019, 80 per cent of other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would have been brought on board. It is projected that by the end of 2020, e-procurement will be fully implemented at all levels of public governance, including local governments,” Ambode said.
He described the summit’s theme as apt, saying it speaks on the need for integrity, “which is the combination of honesty, accountability, transparency, fairness, self-discipline and probity, to take its course in the public procurement process.”
The governor said the summit was a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on emerging issues and challenges and come up with ideas that would align the state public procurement law and implementation with global best practices.
“Apart from being the process by which the government contracts infrastructure, supplies and professional services; transparent procurement is central to expenditure management of any government.
“Thus, there is an urgent need to ensure the procurement process is transparent, efficient and effective, in order to curb wastage and misappropriation of public funds and resources,” he said.
Ambode said before the coming of the public procurement law, corruption thrived in the procurement of goods, works and services.
“However, the public procurement law has entrenched clear and unambiguous governing rules on public procurement. A full and committed implementation of the governing rules on public procurement reduces public procurement malpractices, uncompleted contracts or unexecuted contracts,” he said.
The governor said his administration was working to ensure that the procurement process was transparent, adding that this was part of the reason the platform was being activated.
The responsibility of entrenching transparency and prudence in the public procurement sector, he said, did not rest solely on the government.
“It is a collective responsibility which requires the efforts of stakeholders, including contractors/suppliers and non-governmental organisations.”
Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (LSPPA) General Manager Mr. Fatai Onafowote said public procurement had come to stay.
“Public procurement is about total life cycle of the goods, works and services to be procured, using public fund. It is about planning, contract formation, contract management and disposal of public asset,” he said.