The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has declared that the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency ( PPA ) has been playing a major role in midwifing the conduct of government business, particularly in the drive towards increased accountability, competitiveness, inclusiveness and transparency, in the public procurement processes.
The Head of Service, represented by Mrs. Toyin Machado–Onanuga, Director, Public Service Standards and Performance, in the Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service, stated this at the opening ceremony of a three-day Procurement Planning Clinic, organised by the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA) for accounting and procurement Ooficers in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the State, held at the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PPDC), Magodo, Lagos.
Muri-Okunola further noted that the agency had left no one in doubt that it was fully prepared to achieve its mission “to ensure a transparent, inclusive, sustainable and value-driven public procurement system that supports Government’s developmental goals and engenders public confidence.”
While stressing the need for the proper alignment of the procurement plans of MDAs with the provisions of the approved budget so that the overall goals and objectives of the state government as envisioned in the budget could be achieved, Muri-Okunola noted that the activities of the agency were in tandem with the drive of the present administration in the State towards achieving a 21st century economy status as contained in the 6-point T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
The Head of Service, however, appealed to accounting officers and other officials in the Procurement Planning Committees of MDAs to work in synergy with the agency through the procurement officers in the various MDAs for the objectives for setting up the agency as a regulatory body for public procurement to be fully achieved.
He expressed commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for providing the leadership required for continued growth and development of the State.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the agency who is also the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, urged procurement officers to work and act like core professionals in the way they handled the procurement functions of their MDAs.
Olowo, who was represented at the occasion by Mr. OlujimiIge, Permanent Secretary, Debt Management Office of the State, stated that a major change had just been introduced into the public procurement process in the State, stressing that “all projects captured in the Appropriation Law and included in the Procurement Plan will now be eligible for commencement of procurement process” after which the Governor’s approval would be sought.
He further noted that the new approval process had put a greater responsibility on procurement officers, adding that the officers must, therefore, take the challenge as agents for positive change so that they would not be seen and perceived as slowing down the process.
In an opening remark at the event, the General Manager of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Fatai Idowu Onafowote, explained that the Procurement Planning Clinic was organised annually at the beginning of the year to examine, scrutinize, review or amend the procurement plan of each of the MDAs with the aim of ensuring that it reflected the provisions contained in the approved budget.
The General Manager pointed out that the successful implementation of the budget substantially depended on the soundness of the procurement plans of the MDAs, noting that the preparation of procurement plans must, therefore, be undertaken with commitment by staff saddled with the responsibility.
Onafowote also disclosed that following the successful deployment of e-Procurement Solution Modules in the procurement processes of three Ministries in the State – Health, Education and Works and Infrastructure last year – the agency was ready to deploy the Modules in nine more MDAs by the end of February, 2020 to further enhance the state government’s drive towards the ease of doing business with government by contractors, suppliers and service providers.