Sola Ojo, Kaduna
In its effort to for open governance in Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), with support from the US MacArthur Foundation, has organised a two-day workshop on open contracting for stakeholders in Kaduna State.
The stakekeholders, which comprised ministries, department and agencies (MDAs), civil society and media entities, are being trained on practical ways of tracking public procurements in Kaduna State as a way to strengthen the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to which the state subscribed in 2016.
Speaking at the meeting that started Wednesday in Kaduna, PPDC Software Developer Adekunle Adelowo described the workshop as designed to ensure transparency and accountability in public expenditures, as a way of reducing corruption.
To him, open contracting simply means when both citizens and government engage with how available resources are being expended in the interest of the majority of citizens, in order to improve their standard of living.
Acccording to the digital expert, when government makes bidding for contacting open, the level of individual influence on such contract is limited, adding that open contracting would not only reduce corruption but would ensure that the best firm gets the job.
Co-chair, Open Contracting Technical Working Group, Barrister Rebecca Sako-John, reiterated the need for healthy collaboration between the government and citizens in order to reduce malpractices in contracting.
According to her, the ideal of transparency was just evolving in Kaduna State due to certain challenges which are surmountable in time.
She suggested the need for civil society to identify their strengths and collaborate to facilitate human centred development in the nortnern state.
She urged event participants to make judicious use of the opportunity to equip themselves with necessary tools that would enhance their project tracking.