Exactly one year ago, on 12th June, 2019, a group of Civil Society Organisations and Media Activists came together to demand for increased citizens participation in government budgeting, Public procurement and contract awarding processes.
The group operated under the aegis of “Public Procurement Advocates” embarked on selfless public enlightenment and media advocacy to ensure that the masses are involved in matters concerning capital expenditures.
The movement gathered momentum, and soon attracted the support of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption(RoLAC) Programme of European Union and the British Council. Through the financial and technical support of these development partners, we developed a superb advocacy brief, engaged principal state actors like Governor/SSG, Speaker/Clerk of ASHA, Chief Judge/Attorney General, and HOS/Commissioners.
Within one year, we succeeded in pressuring Anambra State House of Assembly to pass the PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAW (PPL) and privailed on the Government to constitute the BUREAU OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT(BPP). The BPP is headed by Hon. Melie Onyejepu as General Manager, and a Council/Board led by Chief Henry Manafa.
This bureau which include representative of government, Religious organisations and civil societies now has the statutory mandate to scrutinise all contract awards, government procurements and capital expenditures.
This is our little contribution to the advancement of the Open Government Partnership OGP, which is a global initiative aimed at opening up government businesses for public scrutiny, transparency and accountability. The ultimate goal is to stem the current tide of corruption in the system.
May we be recorded on the right side of history, that we were not just armchair critics, but that we also did our best to improve this rotten society that we met.
Let posterity remember that some of us tried to influence the society positively, (even without occupying any significant position of authority) with the hope of bequeathing a better society to our children.
Other unsung heroes who devoted their time, energy and intellect towards achieving this great fit included Messrs Gabriel Alonta, Alfred Ajayi, Ugochukwu Okeke, Paul Onyeka, Chris Azor.
Others are Mesdames Ugochi Freeman, Nkoli Ebede, Eucharia Anaekwe, Hope Okoye, and others to numerous to mention in this limited space.
Awka, Anambra State
July 12, 2020.