The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), has commenced a capacity building workshop to educate procurement officers on the use of Nigeria Open Contract Portal (NOCOPO) in preparing procurement plans and records.
Declaring the four-day workshop open, the Director-General of BPP, Mr Mamman Ahmadu, said the portal was designed to aid in ensuring transparency, accountability and increased citizens’ participation in the country’s procurement process.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the procurement officers were drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“The Bureau in utilising improvements in modern technology developed NOCOPO portal which would ensure improved transparency, competition and accountability, prevent corruption and enhance active citizen participation in procurement, thereby ensuring better service delivery and improved Ease of Doing Business.
“The technical session and group discussions are expected to educate participants on all the steps in creating procurement plans and records.
“It is expected that at the end of the workshop, participants will be well equipped and can prepare and submit procurement plans and records in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007,’’ Ahmadu said.
Earlier, Dr Aliyu Aliyu, the Director, Regulations, Database and Information Communication Technology, BPP, said there was the need for government agencies to key into the portal with a view to transiting from submitting procurement plans through excel sheets to use of modern technology.
According to Aliyu, the days of submitting procurement plans and records through excel sheets are over.
“This portal is the driver of open government partnership, which is a partnership between government and the civil society.
“Essentially, we are trying to make everything to be transparent so that everything the MDAs are doing could be seen by the citizens.
“So, people can visit the portal and see that what is there is actually what the MDAs are doing,’’ Aliyu said.
He urged MDAs to download the application and ensure they upload their data in order not to give room for speculation over their procurement records.
“Rather than speculating, people will be able to fish out data. Consequently for us to have this data, we need the ministry to upload their data on `https://nocopo.bpp.gov.ng’,’’ Aliyu said.
He, however, cautioned that BPP would sanction agencies that failed to upload their procurement plans and records after the training.
“The argument has always been that they don’t know how to do it but BPP is bringing three procurement officers from each agency to educate them on the use of the portal.
“Any failure after this will not be tolerated,’’ he stressed.
NAN reports that procurement officers from Federal Ministry of Health, Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres are participating in the first batch of the workshop.
BPP convened the workshop with the support of the British Council and the European Union. (NAN)