Edo has been proclaimed the leading state in e-procurement in Nigeria by the World Bank with the state awarding over 38 contracts in four pilot Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) since the launch of its electronic portal in mid-2021.
The Managing Director of Edo State Public Procurement Agency, Mr. Henry Idogun, disclosed this to journalists in Benin City.
Idogun spoke while addressing participants at a workshop organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to understudy the e-procurement model of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.
Recall that the state government had in July 2021, launched the electronic public procurement system to ensure a transparent and accountable process in its public procurements.
According to Idogun, “As of today in Edo, we have awarded a total of 38 contracts through the electronic portal; these contractors bid through the portal and the award was made through the portal as well and if they win, they will also get notifications through their devices.
“The programme itself is World Bank-assisted; they have ranked Edo to be the leading state in terms of e-procurement. So, states that have not gotten to our level have decided to come and understudy us.
“It will be easy for them to fly with what we have done. We are sharing our experiences with them; we struggled from one way to the other to get here. We are doing well and they know, which is why they came to understudy us.”
Addressing delegates at the workshop, the Managing Director added, “We signed on to the e-procurement framework agreement on the 1st of December 2020 and we went live on the 16th of July 2021. As of today, we have conducted 38 electronic procurements across the four pilot MDAs on the portal and that portal is live.
“I believe in the next few days, our team will be able to show you what we have done, as well as some decisions we took at the initial stage that helped us. I see this visit as an exchange visit.
“Other states are expected to follow suit and replicate the laws of procurement in their various states and take into account the peculiarities in their respective states. Here in Edo, we joined the league of states that have procurement regulatory framework in 2012.”
He continued, “We have tried to build institutions of procurement; very key among them is the procurement officers’ cadre. As of today, we have a firmly established procurement officers’ cadre at the Edo State civil service and at the local government level.
“For us, that institution is very key; no governor or any top leadership of any government can just cancel it overnight; that cadre has come to stay. The procurement of officers’ cadre is very important going forward, and for the sustainability of procurement in the state.”
Reaffirming Idogun’s position, the Representative of State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability for Sustainability (SFTAS) Technical Assistant Project Coordinator, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Solomon Affun, said that the Edo has been identified as the leading state in e-procurement process.
According to him, “five states are currently in the second batch to study Edo. They are here to learn how Edo has made success in their e-procurement process.”
One of the participants from Borno State, Mr. Babakura Bukar, commended Governor Obaseki for his developmental strides in Edo, adding that the state’s e-procurement process is worth emulating.