The Public Procurement Reform Programme (PPRP), a flagship programme of Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), got a boost recently when an Abuja-based regional non-governmental organisation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) donated 100 units of Lenovo M10 Tablets to the agency. The tablets are expected to serve as additional working tools for procurement officers to enhance their readiness for the full implementation of e-Procurement in the State.

The initiative is part of CDD’s funded Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) Strengthening Initiative Project, which seeks to contribute to increasing efficiency and effectiveness of ACAs for the fight against corruption, primarily through targeted capacity building, support on forensics and evidence gathering, peer learning, information sharing and open government through transparency, accountability and overall value for public funds.

Whilst receiving the tablets, the Special Adviser and Director-General of the agency, O’Seun Odewale stated that « this donation is first of its kind in Ekiti State and would go a long way to enhance the capacity of procurement specialists in the State towards better and faster practice of due process. He mentioned that the donation will fast-track the quest to fully digitise the procurement practices as part of the e-Government Procurement (eGP) under the PPRP. He admonished all procurement specialists in the State who are direct beneficiaries of the tablets to « redouble their efforts and up their digital skills in readiness for the full implementation of e-Procurement ».

In his brief speech, he emphasised that the donation was part of ongoing institutional relationship where CDD is supporting training and capacity building activities in the Bureau.

Mr. Odewale who addressed procurement officers said that he believed that, when fully implemented, « e-Procurement will give better user experience to contractors, vendors, consultants and all who may be involved in public procurement in the State ».

In handing over the donation, Ms. Idayat Hassan, head of CDD commended Ekiti BPP on the strides made so far at reforming public procurement and making it the center point of economic decisions in Ekiti. « We are elated to be able to support your work through this donation. You should note that this donation has been made as part of our project to strengthen the mechanisms for public procurement in Nigeria and promote anti-corruption, transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s public institutions », she said. She concluded that, « These tablets have already been preinstalled with monthly subscription of 4.5GB of data which will continue for the next 12 months till July 2022 ».

The tablets, sighted by this reporter is Lenovo’s latest M10 — 10.1 inch 2G/32GB Qualcomm dual core processor — with a market value of N140,000.00 each. The device is a premium working tool for effective and prompt service delivery. It should help to increase the efficiency of electronic procurement processes in the state.

As posted on its website, the mission of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) is to be the « prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development. This intends to be achieved by remaining focused on capacity building, policy analysis, and advocacy ».

The world has since gone digital, especially with the constant addition of new technology and AI in improving business processes and service delivery. In light of this, the Bureau is reflecting modern practices and also sustainable ways in carrying out its functions and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on its operations.

The Bureau is doing everything possible to ensure that procuring entities can document their procurement records and prepare realistic procurement plans in tandem with applicable Appropriation Laws.

The tablets have been distributed to all procurement officers and procurement stakeholders in the state.

On behalf of EKSG and the Bureau, Odewale thanked CDD for the « kind donations ».

Doyinsola Ajisafe

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