By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
Kwara State Government on Tuesday began a three-day capacity building workshop for local contractors who want to work with the State Universal Basic Education Board (KW-SUBEB).
This comes as the state government, which recently received N7.1bn UBEC grants after seven years of blacklist, is set to commence massive infrastructural renewal of basic schools across the 16 local government areas.
At the event held in Ilorin, the state capital, commissioner for education and human capital development Hajia Fatimah Ahmed explained that the workshop is to enlighten local contractors on the requirements for the successful bidding process.
According to the commissioner, “The essence of the training is to enlighten our local contractors because in bidding for a contract there are requirements that will be needed from the contractors which many of them might not be aware of,” she said.
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“This training is coming up first to educate them on the procurement process and what the state will need from them before they can bid for any contract. We have over 1000 participants and the workshop is coming up in batches between today (Tuesday) and Thursday.”
Ahmed urged the prospective contractors to abide by relevant rules and requirements of the tender board to ensure a successful bidding process.
Procurement Consultant and Governance Reform Expert, Omomofe Akintunde, for his part, said the training was designed to equip prospective bidders and vendors in Kwara State on steps to follow for a successful bidding process in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Kwara State Public Procurement Law.
“Public procurement is for the public, and government needs to interact with bidders on the way to understand the technicalities and what must be put in place before participating in procurement activities and win,” he said.
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“When you increase the chance of contractors in participation, it will also help the government in promoting the economy of the state. So, it is not just for the public procurement to be done under board but to follow the guidelines and procedures that are all encapsulated in the Public Procurement Act and the Kwara State Public Procurement Law.”
Akintunde commended the state government for deploying the use of public procurement as a public policy and hoped that it will translate to dividends of democracy and development which the people want and guarantee quality jobs expected from the contractors.
Two of the contractors Umar Farouq Sanni and Omotayo Oladele said the training was necessary to assist them on how to manage the contract and rewrite the story of Kwara State through efficient management of UBEC funds.
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