By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In preparation of the massive infrastructural renewal of basic schools across the 16 local government areas, the Kwara State government has commenced the training of local contractors.
On Tuesday, the north-central state of the federation began a three-day capacity building workshop for the contractors who want to carry out the projects through the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KW-SUBEB).
Recently, the state received a N7.1 billion grant from the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) after being blacklisted for seven years.
This left most schools in the state in a dilapidated form, causing many indigenes of the state to worry about the poor state of education.
But with the funds released, the administration of Mr Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman is working hard to change the narratives for good.
At the workshop, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Ms Fatimah Ahmed, explained that the training was to enlighten local contractors on the requirements for the successful bidding process.
“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.
“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 Tuesday and Thursday,” she explained.
Ms 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, Mr Omomofe Akintunde, further explained that 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.
“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,” he added.
Mr 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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