Benin City, Thursday July 2nd 2010.
ANEEJ SIGN MoU WITH PRESIDENCY ON ECONOMIC REFORM AND GOVERNANCE
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a Benin bases non-governmental organization has sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society under the World Bank assisted Improving Civil Society Involvement in Economic Reform and Governance Project (ERGP), a programme which is an independent mechanism to monitor projects and procurement processes at the federal and state level.
The Memorandum of Understanding was made between Ado Investments Ltd. a management firm on behalf of the Office of Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society on one part and Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice on the other part, where ANEEJ assignment is to Lead Advocacy for Best Public Procurement Practice in Edo State. Earlier, the Office of Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society conducted a baseline/mapping survey of civil society organizations in the six pilot states of Anambra, Edo, Lagos, Niger, Bauchi and Sokoto and FCT, to select credible NGOs to partner with in implementation the ERGP.
According to the terms of the MoU, ANEEJ will work within Edo State to: Sensitize relevant Agencies of Government on the need for a transparent Public Procurement system; to lead advocacy for the Enactment of Public Procurement Law, and also lead effort for the Involvement of Civil Society Organisations in observing and monitoring Public Procurement processes in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Already, series of capacity building workshops have been organised for some ANEEJ staff and other partners in the six pilot states and Federal Capital Territory, in Minna, Niger State, from 10th – 12th June, 2010 and 23rd – 25th June 2010 respectively. The workshops were organized in conjunction with the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) and Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria, who at the end of the training sessions, certified participants to carry out advocate as well as to observe and monitor procurement processes in Nigeria.
Edo State Government needs to follow the example of other states like Delta and Bayelsa and put legal instruments in place to institutionalize good governance in Edo State, noted the Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor.
The ANEEJ boss also noted that we need strong institutions that will outlive this administration and to ensure checks and balances in the system, if such institutions are not in place, then any ongoing developmental effort by this present administration cannot be sustained. The whole issue of corruption in government centers on procurement, contract award, purchases, supplies and such like, as such there is need for a reform of the procurement system in Edo State in line with International Best Practices.
ANEEJ is willing to partner with Edo State Government to ensure that relevant laws such as the Public Procurement Law, Fiscal Responsibility Law and others necessary to institutionalize good governance are enacted in the state and subsequently, monitor the implementation of such laws.