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Many SMEs showing apathy towards public procurement system - Lagos PPA DG

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Onafowote and others at the workshop

The Director-General, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA), Fatai Idowu Onafowote, has said many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are still showing apathy towards public procurement system despite the efforts of the government and the agency.

He spoke at a one-day workshop organised by the agency in collaboration with the European Union Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) programme, on procurement processes and procedures for SMEs to enable them participate and benefit from procurement opportunities in the State.

The Director-General, however, pointed out that quite a number of SMEs lacked adequate knowledge and understanding of the processes and procedures required for participating and benefitting from public procurement opportunities that are available in the State from time to time at the various MDAs of the State.

Onafowote noted that as major contributors to socio-economic growth and development particularly in Lagos State and Nigeria, SMEs must understand and comply with the processes and procedures guiding public procurement in the State.

He pointed out that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in the State is passionate about empowering Small and Medium Enterprises and giving them opportunities in public procurement of the State.

The Director-General added that this informed the decision to bring down the cost of registration and renewal of certain categories of service providers to as low as N10,000.00. and making registration and renewal requirements as simple and flexible as possible.

He added that the workshop was, therefore, organised to equip SMEs with the knowledge they require to participate and benefit from procurement opportunities in the State.

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He expressed the hope that participants at the event would make use of the opportunity offered by the workshop to improve their digital skills, adding that with the deployment of technology to the public procurement system of the State, service providers, including SMEs must adapt to the technological innovation if they do not want to be left behind.

Onafowote commended the European Union Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) programme for partnering with the Agency in organising the workshop, pointing out that ROLAC is “a worthy partner for many of the programmes of the Agency aimed at strengthening public procurement in the State.”

He also expressed appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the “relentless support the Agency has been receiving from the State Government”, pledging that the Agency would redouble its efforts towards enhancing the public procurement system of the State.

Many SMEs showing apathy towards public procurement system - Lagos PPA DG
A cross section of participants at the event

In her remarks at the occasion, the Lagos State Coordinator of ROLAC, Mrs. Ajibola Ijimakinwa, stated that her organiastion’s partnership with the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency in organising the workshop was aimed at equipping SMEs with practical knowledge and skills essential for effective participation in the public procurement processes of Lagos State.

Ijimakinwa also pointed out that ROLAC expected participants and SMEs to be able to acquire necessary skills for navigating the registration and renewal process, bid for contracts and prepare bids effectively and also understand the regulatory framework which would help them to comply with standards, thereby enhancing the credibility and competitiveness of the public procurement system of the State.

Operators of SMEs participated physically and virtually at the one-day workshop, held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.

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