There is an ongoing State to State project to train Civil Society Organizations and Persons with Disabilities on monitoring public procurement processes in order to checkmate government excesses while enhancing democracy and development in Nigeria.
The training, held on zoom by the Cedar Seed Foundation aims to enhance corruption free procurement activities and hold government accountable for any violation of rule of law.
Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Seed, Lois Auta-Udonkanta, in her opening address said she received an invitation on 11th October to attend a capacity building workshop of the State to State Project organized for Civil Society Organizations, with support from DAI/USAID.
The capacity building workshop has as it objective, making clear the practical implications of prohibitions on public procurement processes. It is targeted at providing enlightenment on the various methodologies and mechanisms for the procurement of goods and services and to provide in-depth understanding of red flags techniques.
The project is also intended to identify the different strategies of procurement processes. Auta-Udonkanta had hoped that at the end of the event, participants will come up with better perspectives and recommendations.
At the meeting, Mr. Emmanuel Sanusi, program officer, Inclusive Society for Women and Girls Initiative, had in his presentation on public procurement monitoring skills for CSOs remarked that it is a known fact that governments all over the world are involved in providing goods and services.
He expained public procurement process as the same process through which the government exploit the masses, hence the corruption and other decay in the system.
“Government is trying to budget funds from the public and divert some of these funds. Rules were routinely violated by government agencies and this calls for reenactment.”
Sanusi says the reforms are necessary so CSOs and PWDs have to do all they can to checkmate government activities and enhance democracy and development
Asked how this procurement process could be accessible to people with disabilities, Sanusi remarked: “We all know that Persons with Disabilities have been left behind in virtually every sector of government activities. The first step therefore for Persons with Disabilities to begin to access the procurement processes involves a reform on procurement.
‘There should be procurement reforms that squarely addresses issues of persons with disabilities with regards to procurement. They have to be active participants in every agencies that oversees the procurement processes (The National Council on PP and the BPP).
“By this Act, we can ensure a certain percentage of procurement be awarded to procurement entities owned by Persons with Disabilities. PWD needs should be considered in procurement activities. Based on their needs and disabilities for example: Provision of aids, braille materials for the blind, alternative to staircases for Persons on wheel chairs, etc. These are some ways Persons with Disabilities can access the procurement processes. However, the options are not limited to these.” he said.