The Managing Director of the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EPPA), Henry Idogun has said that since implementing landmark reforms to instill transparency and probity in its procurement processes, not less than 19 Nigerian States and 2 countries have visited Edo State to understudy the transformational changes.
In a chat with journalists, Idogun noted that the state has arguably the highest number of procurement professionals in the country, who were trained in collaboration with international development organisations.
According to him, “We were visionary when we started. We knew that we needed to build capacity at the beginning. The Edo State Government was the first state to have 14 certified procurement professionals.
“As they say, you can’t give what you don’t have. We knew we needed to build capacity with the support of the World Bank under the SEEFOR programme. We were able to expose many of our officers, built their capacity and that is what is still carrying us today. Edo was the first state to do so. Even at the federal level at that time, and even up till now, I’m not sure they have that level of certified procurement professionals.”
He continued: “When we started our e-procurement, it was easy to evolve a strategy to implement our e-procurement which worked so marvelously. So much so that other states have been coming to understudy it. We have had 19 states come to study our e-procurement implementation strategy.
“Two countries including Liberia and Gambia have also come to understudy the scheme. So, what people thought was impossible, something we thought we were doing at the corner of our office here, received so much recognition from Nigeria’s Governor Forum, the World Bank, and other developed partners. They started to recommend the Edo model to everybody that cared to listen. These are some of the things that we have done that have been recognized as adding value to the entire governance architecture.”