15th November, 2017
The Public Private Development Centre (PPDC), a procurement monitoring Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has tasked the Federal Government to ensure compliance with the recently-launched Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS).
Its Programme Officer, Mr Onyekachi Chukwu, made the appeal at the private screening of a documentary on contract awards and implementation on Wednesday in Abuja.
The documentary is titled “Budeshi Waka’’ meaning “Open It’’ in Hausa.
He said the implementation of OCDS would enable citizens to monitor all stages of the projects being carried out.
“That way it is easier to know what is going on and when it should be concluded.
“Also, the people would know what should be expected from the projects.’’
He said the documentary was aimed at determining the extent to which contracts awarded in the health and education sector had been beneficial to the communities.
He also said it was to sensitise the community members to their roles as citizens, to ensure value for money was attained with every contract awarded.
Chukwu said the documentary gave a first-hand experience on how the availability and functionality of the projects were critical to the beneficiaries.
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He said it also revealed the lapses in government contracts which seemed to be completed only on paper.
PPDC’s Communications Lead, Ugochi Ekwueme, said the organisation had been advocating for increased citizens’ participation in government for a long time, adding that introducing it was a step in the right direction.
She said it would also ensure that procurement was carried out properly and that it carried out the checks and balances required.
“From this documentary, we can see that there are some projects that have been undertaken and are not being utilised properly.
“A Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) was constructed and equipped but it had no personnel running it.
“So why are we building it if they will be understaffed?
“We need to build structures and give public services that would be beneficial to the people and not just use tax money to build infrastructure that would not be used.’’
The Bureau for Public Procurement recently launched the OCDS as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) national action plan on open contracting.