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We are open to financial scrutiny, we are not afraid of probe – Ekiti Governor, Fayemi

EKITI, Nigeria – Governor Kayode Fayemi, has said the fact that his government was not afraid of probe propelled the Public Procurement Law reform he undertook for all transactions to be exhibited on Ekiti website, for thorough financial scrutiny.

Fayemi said all the contracts being awarded by his government are now being displayed on the state’s website, for the public to assess and scrutinise, embrace the open contracting culture and allow the citizens to take ownership of the government.

Fayemi spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, at a three-day Public Procurement workshop tagged: “Promoting transparency and accountability in public education expenditure through open contracting”, organised by Public Private Development Centre (PPDC), in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation.

Fayemi, represented by the Commissioner for Budget, Hon. Femi Ajayi said Ekiti State had keyed into open contracting policy and complied with fiscal regulation via all-inclusive budgeting that will drive socio-economic policy, for radical development.

“We knew that for the government to have a policy that will be workable and transform the economic landscape based on peculiarities, everybody must be involved.

“Before the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets were prepared, we held town hall meetings across the three Senatorial districts where every section of the public was represented. This is where people made their demands based on peculiarities. This is where they tell us if it were roads, schools, hospitals, town halls and others that they needed.

“Ekiti doesn’t joke with the budget process. No government jokes with budgeting and transforming the economy, that was why Governor Fayemi signed to OGP.

“We are not afraid of probe and financial scrutiny, because we have nothing to hide”.

Fayemi added that the Ekiti State BPP has been reformed with the enactment of a new BPP Law, which stipulates that all projects and amounts they were awarded for be put on the website for public scrutiny.

“Our quarterly budget performances and others are now on our website. Every contract being awarded is put there. Everything is open. BPP is still undergoing reform, we are driving towards e-procurement. The process of approval would go to the tenders board if it goes beyond the threshold the governor can approve, just for accountability and openness”.

The Commissioner for Education, Dr Adebimpe Aderiye, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. James Owolabi, said Fayemi’s government has been open in all contracts being awarded in the education sector and working with the host communities for thorough monitoring.

Also speaking, the Director-General, Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Seun Odewale, said in line with the National Government action plan on budgeting, procurement and payment, that the amount, specification and delivery of all contracts being awarded by the government are now being published.

“Again, if such contract is terminated, the reasons for its termination must be stated, whether on account of poor implementation or lack of fund. The public is now allowed to get involved with participation, monitoring and oversight to build trust between the leaders and the led”.

The State Coordinator, Public and Private Development Centre(PPDC), Mr. Nelson Akerele, said the body has helped the government to design a portal where government projects are advertised for transparency and accountability.

“This will enable the people verify how the allocations to Ekiti were being spent and reduce corruption in our procurement process”.

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