No fewer than 139 of the 226 Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) assessed by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have no record on open contracting.
It was gathered that only 16 MDAs had full disclosure, 61 had partial disclosure while 139 of them did not disclose their information on the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO).
In 2016, the federal government said it was committed to progressive implementation of open contracting and the adoption of open contracting standards to enhance transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in public procurement and fiscal transparency.
But five years after, apart from the portal created for MDAs to make available their contracts data, the National Procurement Council has not been constituted by the Buhari’s government with no clear administrative rules and guidelines issued by the highest level of government mandating open contracting in priority MDAs/sectors and setting timelines for compliance.
Speaking yesterday at a breakfast conversation to articulate the citizens’ position and develop advocacy engagements on Public Procurement and Open Contracting in Nigeria, the chief executive officer at Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), Nkem Ilo, said a lot needed to be done in sensitising the MDAs to do the right thing.
The programme which was organised by PPDC, according to Nkem, will help them to identify the challenges of the MDAs with a view of strengthening them.
In his presentation, Tech lead at PPDC, Vershima Tingir, said out of the 226 MDAs ranked in the NOCOPO, 16MDAs had full disclosure, 61 MDAs had partial disclosure while 139MDAs did not disclose their information.
Tingir attributed the challenges to weak demand and use, poor infrastructure for implementation, lack of knowledge /awareness on open contracting while other MDAs don’t have enough resources to provide their information in NOCOPO.