The Edo State Government is strengthening partnerships with the World Bank and the National University Commission (NUC) to deepen accountability and transparency in public procurement in the country through capacity building.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA), Henry Imogiemhe Idogun, disclosed this when he received students from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who were in his office for practical knowledge on the operations of the agency and its e-procurement system.
Noting that Edo State under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki is implementing an e-procurement model that has redefined the acquisition process in Nigeria, Idogun said the agency is working with the World Bank and NUC to build capacity on an efficient and transparent procurement system in the country.
Describing a transparent procurement system as a pathway to good governance, the agency’s chief executive stated, “Procurement is the only way the government can deliver with fewer resources to a greater number of persons. If you get your procurement right, you get governance right and will be able to deliver the dividends of democracy to the greater number of our citizens.”
He added, “We would cross-fertilize ideas with these students in terms of our activities as a regulator in procurement or procurement entity as we expect them to imbibe the culture of procurement and take the message out there to the general public.”
On the partnership, Idogun said, “The University of Benin, the National University Commission (NUC), and the World Bank now have a centre for procurement and now offer courses in procurement. They are collaborating with us and we are helping them in terms of resources.”
Earlier, the Centre Leader (Procurement), Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standard, University of Benin, Prof. Sylvester Osuji said, “Edo State Public Procurement Agency happens to be our technical partner and we are here for practical knowledge after theory in the classroom. We are here to get firsthand knowledge of the practical applications of procurement. The agency has been doing well with good standards. Public Procurement is practical and we are here to learn the tenets.”
Other participants in attendance include staff and procurement officers across various local government areas of Edo, Delta, and Rivers States.