Commissioner Tasks Procurement Officers To Change Negative Public Perception
The Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, has tasked Procurement Officers in the Public Service on the need to work hard to change the negative perception of some stakeholders who regard them as a clog and bottleneck in the delivery of goods and services to the citizenry. The Commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, made the call while addressing Procurement Officers during the monthly online meeting organised by the Agency for the Officers via Zoom. Dr. Olowo reminded them of the sensitive position they occupy in the delivery of improvement in the education sector, health services, 21st Century Economy status, tourism sector as well as in the security sector in the State. He also stressed that their primary responsibility is to assist and guide the Accounting Officers of their Ministries, Departments and Agencies in ensuring compliance with the Procurement Law and due process, adding that Procurement Officers were, therefore, not expected to act as auditors or police officers in the discharge of their duties. The Commissioner charged the participants to demonstrate a renewed commitment in the discharge of their duties so that their colleagues and other stakeholders could have a better understanding of the public procurement process and appreciate the value and contributions of Procurement Officers in public service delivery. He assured that necessary working tools would be given to Procurement Officers to enable them discharge their duties more efficiently, stressing that the Officers must, however, demonstrate a passion for their job. He also promised that the Agency would continue to carry out sensitisation of stakeholders, including Accounting Officers of MDAs, with a view to ensuring that they are properly educated on due process in public procurement, maintaining that Procurement Officers must see themselves as partners and enablers in achieving the objectives of the State Government. Dr. Olowo also disclosed that the Agency would constitute a monitoring team charged with the responsibility of monitoring the conduct and performance of Procurement Officers deployed to the various MDAs, adding that those adjudged as doing well would be rewarded and celebrated while those found wanting and militating against the achievement of the developmental goals of Government would be given appropriate sanctions. Also speaking during the online meeting, the General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, charged Procurement Officers to regularly check the website of the Agency for relevant information. Onafowote stated that Procurement Officers should desist from asking contractors, suppliers and consultants to visit the Agency to obtain information, including relevant information on registration, renewal and upgrade of registration, as well as on the payment process which, according to him, are already available on the website.