PPDC, Kaduna govt partner to improve access to contract information

The Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and the Kaduna State Public Procurement Agency (KADPPA) are working to improve citizens’ access to contract information in the state.

PPDC Technical Lead, Mr Vershima Tingir, said this in Kaduna on Tuesday at the opening of a one-day Open Contracting Training for officials of the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Tingir said that the training was in line with the Open Government Partnership and the commitment of the state government to make all its businesses open and accessible to members of the public.

According to him, this will ensure that contract information is made available for citizens to access and know and track the location of projects and how they are being implemented in the state.

He said that the training, supported by MacArthur Foundation, would entrench transparency and accountability in the delivery of projects and services in the state.

Tingir said that PPDC, KADPPA and Follow Taxes, an NGO, had been working since 2018 to strengthen the procurement reforms in the state.

He said that the training was to equip the officials with the knowledge on the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and how to upload and manage data on the state’s Open Contracting Portal.

“This will enable citizens to access contract information on all projects that are being awarded and executed in the state in line with open contracting data standards.

“So far, there are more than 700 projects uploaded in the portal but these are just a few out of the numerous projects executed or being implemented in the state.

“For us to ensure that all the projects are in the portal, we need to build the capacity of the official to be able to publish and manage the needed data on the portal for citizens to access and engage,’’ he said.

On his part, Mr Mohammed Suleiman, Director, Compliance and Capacity Building, KADPPA, thanked PPDC and Follow Taxes for the support.

Suleiman, an Architect, said that the partnership with PPDC, Follow Taxes and other partners was helping to equip government officials with the needed skills to upload contract information on the open portal.

He said that the training was a follow up to previous trainings to see what the officials had learned, their challenges and how to address them.

He said that KADPPA would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders in ensuring that the state’s open contracting portal was up to date and citizens had access to contract information.

According to him, this is crucial in working with citizens to reduce the incidence of corruption in projects and service delivery in the state.

“Making contracts information public will enable citizens to participate in the process and provide feedback to the government on the delivery of the projects.

“This will help put contractors on their toes and deliver projects in line with contract specifications,” he said. (NAN)