The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has declared that the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA) has been playing a major role as an intermediary in the conduct of Government business, particularly in the drive towards increased accountability, competitiveness, inclusiveness and transparency in the public procurement processes of the State Government
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 Officers and Procurement Officers in the 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 the 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 can be achieved, he 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 six-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 of setting up the Agency as a regulatory body for public procurement to be fully achieved.
He expressed appreciation to Governor Babajide Olusola 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 in the State, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, urged Procurement Officers to work and act like core professionals in handling the procurement functions of their MDAs.
Dr. Olowo, who was represented at the occasion by Mr. Olujimi Ige, 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 guide procurement process.
He further noted that the new approval process had put a greater responsibility on Procurement Officers, therefore, they must take up the challenge as agents for positive change to fast-track the process.
Earlier, the General Manager of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, explained that the Procurement Planning Clinic is organised annually at the beginning of the year to examine, scrutinise, review or amend the Procurement Plan of each of the MDAs of the State with the aim of ensuring that it reflects the provisions contained in the approved budget.
The General Manager pointed out that the successful implementation of the budget substantially depends on the soundness of the procurement plans of the MDAs, noting that the preparation of documents must, therefore, be undertaken with the commitment of staff saddled with the responsibility.
Mr. 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 as well as 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 contractors, suppliers and service providers.