Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that what informed the Public Procurement Law reform he undertook for all transactions to be published on Ekiti website, for thorough financial scrutiny, was because his government was not afraid of probe.
Fayemi said all the contracts being awarded by government are now being displayed on the state’s website, for the public to assess and scrutinise to embrace open contracting culture and allow the citizens to take ownership of government.
Fayemi spoke in Ado-Ekiti, on Saturday, at a three-day Public Procurement workshop tagged : “Promoting transparency and accountability in public education expenditure through open contracting”, organised by Public Private Development Centre (PPDC), in partnership with MacArthur Foundation.
Fayemi, represented by the Commissioner for Budget, Hon. Femi Ajayi, said Ekiti had keyed into open contracting policy and complying with fiscal regulation via all-inclusive budgeting that will drive socio- economic policy, for radical development.
“We knew that for government to have a policy that will be workable and transform the economic landscape based on peculiarities, everybody must be involved.
“Before the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets were prepared, we held town hall meetings across the three Senatorial districts where every section of the public was represented. This is where people made their demands based on peculiarities. This is where they tell us if it were roads, schools, hospitals, town halls and others that they needed.
“Ekiti doesn’t joke with budget process. No government jokes with budgeting and transform the economy, that was why Governor Fayemi signed to OGP.
“We are not afraid of probe and financial scrutiny, because we have nothing to hide”.
Fayemi added that the Ekiti State BPP has been reformed with enactment of a a new BPP Law, which stipulated that all projects and amounts they were awarded be put on website for public scrutiny.
” Our quarterly budget performances and others are now on our website. Every contract being awarded is put there. Everything is open. BPP is still undergoing reform, we are driving towards e-procurement. The process of approval would go to the tenders board if it goes beyond the threshold the governor can approve, just for accountability and openness.”
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Adebimpe Aderiye, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. James Owolabi, said government of Fayemi has been open in all contracts being awarded in the education sector and working with the host communities for thorough monitoring.
Also speaking, the Director General, Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Seun Odewale, said in line with the National Government action plan on budgeting, procurement and payment, that the amount, specification and delivery of all contracts being awarded by government are now being published.
“Again, if such contract is terminated, the reasons for its termination must be stated, whether on account of poor implementation or lack of fund. The public is now allowed to get involved for participation, monitoring and oversight to build trust between the leaders and the led.”
The State Coordinator, Public and Private Development Centre(PPDC), Mr. Nelson Akerele, said the body has helped the government to design a portal where government projects are advertised for transparency and accountability.
“This will enable the people to verify how the allocations to Ekiti were being spent and reduce corruption in our procurement process.”