The Nigerian Contract Monitoring Coalition has launched a project to monitor procurement processes in the power sector with the conclusion of a three-day training programme for procurement observers.
The Coalition, which is a division of the West African Contract Monitoring Coalition regionally coordinated by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), is implementing a World Bank-IDA supported project titled “Multi-stakeholder Engagement for Effective Public Procurement Process in Nigeria.”
Under the project, the Coalition is deploying observers, comprising engineering professionals and representatives of civil society organizations, to monitor procurement processes for power projects in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja.
Current members of the coalition include the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Nigerian Society of Engineers, a media representative and civil society organizations such as Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), which is the national Convener; Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Centre for Organizational and Professional Ethics (COPE-AFRICA), Initiative for Food, Environment and Health Society (IFEHS)
Ahead of the monitoring exercise, the Coalition held a training workshop in Abuja from July 18 to 21, 2012 for its proposed procurement observers.
The training modules delivered at the procurement observers workshop sought to build the capacity of the members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the civil society representatives to effectively monitor power sector procurement processes right from project conception to contract award and then unto project implementation.
The coalition also trained the observers on how to use procurement monitoring tools developed by the Public and Private Development Centre in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, to observe and report on the procurement process through the Procurement Portal Observatory at www.procurementmonitor.org.
In his presentation at the training, the chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, took the participants through “the Structure of the Nigerian Electricity Industry, Major On-going Projects; Opportunities and Challenges”.
The participants were also given a historical perspective of the Nigerian procurement system and guided to understand monitoring benchmarks for all stages of the procurement process as captured on the standard procurement monitoring checklist deployed by the PPDC.
The training also included a module on how to use both the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 to obtain procurement records and information from relevant agencies and institutions as well as a practical session on using the online reporting mechanism, the Procurement Portal Observatory, to submit procurement reports.
The coalition, through an expert committee set up at the Nigerian Society of Engineers, also developed a standard “Infrastructure Rating and Assessment Template” for project implementation monitoring after the contract award processes.
The Bureau of Public Procurement, which is represented on the coalition, provided publications and training materials for all participants at the training.
It is the aim of the coalition that through the multi-stakeholder engagement and monitoring, it will work to improve compliance with the Public Procurement Act and rules, which in turn will lead to improvements in budget implementation and public service delivery.
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