The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri- Okunola has enjoined Accounting Officers, Procurement Officers and other relevant personnel of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State Government to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Public Procurement Law of the State.

The Head of Service gave the charge during the opening ceremony of the annual Public Procurement Clinic organised by the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA) which was held today via zoom. He stressed the need to abide with the Procurement Law and other relevant guidelines and regulations guiding public procurement to achieve the plans and projects contained in the approved budget of the State without circumventing the Law.

Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola whose address was delivered at the ceremony by the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service, Mr. Samson Ajibade, commended the Agency “for the giant strides the Agency has been making to enhance the implementation of the Public Procurement Law of the State”, stressing that it “is gratifying to note that the Agency is planning to migrate the procurement process of 97 additional MDAs of the State into the e-Procurement platform before the end of the year.”

 The Head of Service, therefore, charged Accounting Officers and other personnel involved with the implementation of the Procurement Law to brace up for the challenge posed by the deployment of technology to drive public procurement in the State, a development which he said would “significantly enhance the ease of doing business policy being vigorously pursued by the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Administration” in the State.

He also enjoined the General Manager of the Agency and his team not to rest on their oars, adding that the Agency must continue to deploy creative strategies that would enable Contractors, Suppliers and Service Providers and the State Government to do business together in a fair, transparent, competitive and seamless manner as envisaged by the Law establishing the Agency.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Governing Board of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, who is also the Honourable Commissioner for Finance in the State, Dr. Rabiu Olowo  commended the Agency’s partnership and collaboration with key revenue generating MDAs, including the Ministry of Finance, Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Central Internal Audit Office among others to facilitate easy payment of revenue to the coffers of the State Government.

Dr. Olowo urged all MDAs in the State to place more emphasis on the preparation of sound procurement plans to enable them meet the targets and objectives set by the State Government for effective service delivery of public goods and services.

He restated the commitment of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to ensuring due process and compliance with the Procurement Law in all the procurement activities of the State Government, assuring that the State Government would, therefore, continue to support the Agency in carrying out programmes and activities that would further enhance the culture of due process in public procurement among stakeholders and facilitate the ease of doing business with the State Government.

The Chairman urged Procurement Officers to actively participate in the review sessions to enable them prepare procurement plans that would assist in the delivery of goods and services to the people as provided in the approved budget of the State.

Speaking earlier in his welcome address, the General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, explained that preparation of the Procurement Plan of a procuring entity is the responsibility of all user Department/Units and not that of the Procurement Officer alone, pointing out that all hands must be on deck while the Procurement Plan is being developed.

He pointed out the Agency places so much importance on the annual Procurement Planning Clinic because it offers the Agency the opportunity to critically scrutinize the Procurement Plans of all MDAs with a view to finding out whether such Plans are in conformity with the approved budgets of the MDAs and giving necessary guidance when any deviations are observed in the Plans so that the objectives of the State Government could be achieved as planned in the approved budget.

Mr. Onafowote noted that the Agency was making giant strides in the automation of the public procurement process of the State, recalling that starting with the online registration of Contractors, Suppliers and Service Providers in the first of 2019 to the deployment of e-Procurement Solution Modules to the procurement processes of 10 MDAs, the Agency had left no one in doubt about its commitment to the continuous enhancement of the ease of doing business policy of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Administration in the State.

The General Manager also revealed that the Agency had secured the approval of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the integration of 97 additional MDAs of the State into the e-Procurement platform in the current year. According to him, 20 of the MDAs are to be integrated in the first quarter of the year. While commending the State Governor for the approval and supporting the Agency, Mr. Onafowote stated that the benefits that would be derived from the integration of the 97 additional MDAs would be enormous.

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