The Edo State Government, on Wednesday, received a 14-member delegation from the Government of Gambia who are in the state to understudy Edo’s procurement system.

The Gambian delegation on the study tour was sponsored by the World Bank, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA).

Receiving the Gambia delegation, the Managing Director of Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA), Mr. Henry Idogun, said the team will be exposed to the best practise of procurement, leveraging technology.

Idogun said the State Government had, in July 2021, launched the electronic public procurement system in Edo State to ensure a transparent and accountable process in its public procurements.

He said, “I see your visit and the tour as an opportunity to conceptualize ideas; what we have done, how we have been doing it and how we have gotten to where we are today. We will share every idea with you and ensure you replicate the same in the Gambia. I heard when you said Lagos was very generous with information; I already told you that Edo is the most hospitable State in Nigeria, so we’re going to be more than generous with information.”

“We’ll give you everything that we have done. Everything you want, just tell us and within the next 6 hours, we will make sure that such documents are made available to you,” he assured.

Idogun noted that Edo State currently runs a very transparent and accountable procurement process, adding that the system has further strengthened the trust between the people and the government.

He said, “The trust between the government and the governed have increased the willingness of citizens to pay taxes as the people now believe in the ability of the government to effectively utilize public funds.”

On his part, the Project Coordinator of State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability for Sustainability (SFTAS) Technical Assistant, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Solomon Affun, commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for bringing best global practices into governance, leveraging his private sector experience.

Project Manager, Gambia Fiscal Management Development Project, Anta Taal said, “The Gambia as a nation is embarking on critical reforms which include the reforming of the e- procurement system in the country. We are introducing the Integrated Task Administration System. We’re reforming the public enterprises sector, targeting e-procurement as a critical component and aspect of that reform process.

“As a nation, we are working out a road map to move away from the traditional paper-based procurement system to electronic and digital procurement system. To achieve this, we have identified selected countries which include Nigeria.

“We are here as a delegation from Gambia to understudy the e-procurement system in Nigeria and how you embarked on the journey; the opportunities and benefits that e-procurement provides, challenges and experience to guide us.”