In its efforts to enhance the ease of doing business in Lagos State, the Lagos Public Procurement Agency (PPA) has integrated a total of 55 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State on the e-Procurement platform.
The Lagos Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, made this known while speaking at a press briefing to mark the second year anniversary of the Administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office.
Muri-Okunola explained that, while 45 of the 97 MDAs approved for integration by the Governor in 2021 have been onboarded in the first two quarters of the year, the remaining 52 MDAs would be integrated on the e-procurement platform in batches within the remaining two quarters of the year.
He further stated that the e-procurement system is a technical innovation with enormous benefits for all stakeholders, adding that the system will reduce to the barest minimum all forms of physical interaction between the Procuring Entities or the Procurement Agency and contractors, suppliers and service providers as “it offers contractors, service providers or suppliers the opportunity to do business with the State Government and its MDAs online, using the computer or the smart phone from the comfort of their homes or offices”.
The Head of Service reiterated that the e-procurement system will enhance accountability, transparency, competitiveness and value for money, thereby contributing to the realization of the objectives of the State Government’s policy on the ease of doing business with the State Government.
He stressed further that in a bid to enable contractors, suppliers and service providers make relevant payments to the coffers of the State Government with relative ease using online payment platforms, the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency has entered into effective collaboration with some MDAs and some private sector organisations, including the State Treasury Office (STO), Central Internal Audit Office, Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Ministry of Science and Technology and Alpha Beta Consulting (ABC), among others.
Muri-Okunola maintained that to ensure the deepening of the public procurement system and effective management of the e-procurement system in the State, intensive training and capacity development programmes were organised for procurement personnel saddled with the responsibility of operating and managing the public procurement process and e-procurement system in the various MDAs of the State.
He however disclosed that the Agency had organised annual Procurement Planning Clinic for Procurement Officers of MDAs where the Procurement Plans of MDAs were screened and reviewed to ensure that the Plans align with the budgetary provisions of MDAs, thereby ensuring that the implementation of the annual budgets is based on a sound footing.
The Head of Service also revealed that the Agency, in line with its statutory mandate, had carried out Post Procurement Review (PPR) of MDAs to check their procurement records with a view to finding out their level of compliance with the Public Procurement Law and due process in their procurement activities, adding that reports gathered from the exercise have been very useful to the Agency in its drive to continuously deepen the culture of due process in public procurement in the State.
While talking about the monitoring of projects in the state, he stated that the monitoring and evaluation Officers of the Agency undertook routine inspection tours of project sites in the State to ensure adherence by contractors to terms of their contracts as contained in their Letters of Award, thereby ensuring that there is value for money expended by the State Government to provide goods and services for residents of the State.
The Head of Service further stated that the Agency has commenced the publication of contract awards above the N500 Million threshold on the Agency’s website: www.lagosppa.gov.ng in the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) format, which is in part of the fulfilment of the requirements by the World Bank for granting performance-based grants to State Governments in the country, stressing that it will aimed at ensuring the disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process to ensure transparency.