NGO trains journalists, others on procurement process in Plateau



By Patience Aliyu

An NGO, Accountability Lab Nigeria (ALN), has organised a training for journalists, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and tech specialists on accountability and transparency in procurement process in Plateau.

The Country Director of the organisation, Mr Odeh Friday who declared the workshop open on Tuesday in Jos, said the training was part of its project tagged “Anti-Corruption Innovation Project in Public Procurement Sector. ”

Friday further explained that the project, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), was currently being run in Plateau, Edo and Ekiti.

Mr Shiiwua Mnenga, the Project Officer of ALN, gave the overview of the project.

He said the essence of the training was to improve the level of transparency and accountability in public procurement process of each state of the federation, starting with the three pilot states.

He explained that the project was not to witch hunt government but to rather strengthen the accountability process, in line with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) of the Federal Government.

“The essence of this meeting is in pursuant to a project on public procurement process and logistics.

“What we are having is a hackathon, a cohort comprising the tech guys, the civil society organisations and the private sector.

“The essence is to see how we can improve the level of transparency and accountability in the public procurement process,” he said.

Mnega further explained that the training was to bring in technology towards improving procurement process of the state by reducing physical contacts and making it more transparent.

“We are also here to see that a tech-based approach is employed in procurement process so that we reduce physical contact between the public servants and the businesses or the contractors.

“We want to also try to see how the data generated through the procurement process in terms of who is bidding determines how much the project is awarded.

“The duration and amount involved can then be made available to citizens and civil society organisations.

“This is the only way we will be able to speak to issues of transparency and accountability,” he said.

He further said through this process, citizens could have a platform to engage with government and private sector businesses. (NAN)