Muri-Okunola assures stakeholders of amended procurement law

Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola (middle) amongst other officials Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola (middle) amongst other officials

The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has enjoined the management of the Lagos State Public Agency (PPA) to take advantage of the newly signed Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (Amendment) Law, 2021.

This, he said, will make the procurement process more inclusive, thereby encouraging increased compliance by stakeholders.

Muri-Okunola gave the charge while speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day retreat organised for the members of the Governing Board of the Agency held at Protea Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He also stressed the need to step up public enlightenment and advocacy campaigns to sensitize stakeholders and the general public on the changes in the Public Procurement Law and its implications on policies, programmes and implementation process.

Meanwhile, he added that the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Department of the Agency must also be strengthened.

He also pointed out that the Agency had made a significant difference “in ensuring that the

The state remains the Mecca of public procurement implementation and practice in Nigeria”.

Thereafter, he expressed the hope that the newly appointed members of the Governing Board of the Agency would bring their wealth of experience to bear on the work of the Agency, thereby enhancing its effectiveness in the discharge of its functions.

While noting that the commitment and dedication that the leadership of the Agency had shown over the years in the performance of its regulatory role in the public procurement process in the State was worthy of emulation, the Head of Service pledged his continued support.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to also assure members of the Governing Board and Management of the Agency of my personal commitment to the institutionalization of the process and the continued support of my Office at all times”.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Lagos State Public

Procurement Agency who is also the Commissioner for Finance in the State, Dr Rabiu Onaolapo Olowo promised that members of the Board would work in synergy with the management of the Agency to ensure continuous improvement in the procurement process and enhance the culture of due process in public procurement in the State.

Dr Olowo noted that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is committed to

taking the State to a higher level in the provision of infrastructural development that befits a 21 st Century Economy which the State is aspiring to be, adding that this requires the Agency to play a leading role.

He, therefore, emphasized that the Agency must brace up for the challenge by developing

innovative policies and programmes that would assist the State Government in the delivery of infrastructural and social needs for the benefit of residents of the State now and shortly.

The Governing Board Chairman expressed appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on

behalf of the other members of the board for finding them worthy of the appointment,

promising that they would work hard to reposition the Agency for improved delivery of service.

In a goodwill message delivered at the occasion, the Chairman, House Committee on

Procurement of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Rauf Olawale Sulaimon stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure sanity in public procurement in the State so that the State could maintain its leading position in adherence ++++to due process in a public procurement among the States of the Federation.

Hon. Sulaimon urged the Agency to be properly guided by the law and its own code of ethics and continue to encourage transparency, competitiveness, accountability and due process in the procurement process.

While noting that the Agency had performed well, especially in the deployment of e-

procurement modules, the lawmaker declared that the State House of Assembly would always support the Agency to meet the requirements of the World Bank to enable the State to qualify for assistance from the Bank.

He urged the State Government to build the capacity of procurement personnel of MDAs of the State so that there could be a strong public procurement system that is comparable to what obtains in the Western world.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of the Agency, Mr Fatai Idowu Onafowote, pointed out that the present administration in the State was committed to the

institutionalization of a sound public procurement regime.

Onafowote noted that this places a huge responsibility on the Agency to ensure that public procurement is perceived by stakeholders as the true panacea for dealing with the challenges in public procurement in the State.

However, he promised that the Agency would continue to work hard to assist the State

Government in the delivery of goods and services to the people in a cost-effective and

transparent manner.

Members of the Governing Board of the Agency are Dr Rabiu Onaolapo Olowo (Chairman), Mr Samuel Egube, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), Mr Foluso Hakeem Mustapha, Mrs Foluso Onabowale, Mr Lanre Olusola and Mr Fatai Idowu Onafowote (Director-General).