Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for implementation of reforms that will improve transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.
Obaseki made the case during a courtesy visit by the delegation from the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), and Ernst and Young, a consulting firm, as well as representatives from five states who were in Edo to understudy its e-procurement model.
The states whose representatives were part of the team included Osun, Delta, Borno, Anambra and Bayelsa.
Obaseki noted: “When we got hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it resulted in less revenue for the country and states. This led us to focus more on expenditure than receipts.
“The only option is to cut down on waste and optimize the resources available to us. Governors realised that we have to use the NGF as a forum to help ourselves.
“In terms of what we are doing together, e-procurement can go a long way to help us fix our nation. We should have the political will to do so. As a country, we cannot continue to function the way we used to because we don’t have the resources anymore.
“You can’t do a road of three kilometres and charge the state 10 kilometres. That is what we want to fix.
“When you mis-procure at three times the cost, they don’t give you all the profits from that contract. You make someone rich unnecessarily at the end of the day for doing nothing. You lose value for not procuring properly.”
He said Edo State doesn’t have money to waste as the resources it has is properly utilised to build infrastructure and implement reforms to transform the lives of the people.
“We need to reform how we spend taxpayers’ money and reform the processes of government. SFTAS has come to stay following the level of interest and commitment shown by governors towards the programme.”
“Fiscal transparency and accountability should be the focus as the bulk of the resources needed to drive economic growth will come from the private sector, both domestic and international,” Obaseki added.
The Project Coordinator for Technical Assistant to SFTAS programme from the Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat (NGF), Solomon Affun, said the team is in the state for the second time in two weeks to understudy Edo State Public Procurement Agency’s model and its deployment of an e-procurement platform.