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EDO, LABOUR, GROUPS PARLEY ON PROCUREMENT BILL

By NBF News
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BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-CIVIL society groups and the organised labour in Edo State, weekend, brainstormed over the Edo State Government's proposed Public Procurement Bill, expressing optimism that the bill if passed into law would build public confidence in the financial dealings of the government.

The Attorney-General of the state and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Osagie Obyuwana, who presented the bill to the groups for consideration, said it was the desire of the government to ensure transparency in all its dealings particularly in the areas of contracts and government expenditure.

Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, who declared the event open, said the roundtable was in line with international best practices 'where a draft bill is subjected to consultation and input from a cross-section of stakeholders including civil society groups and organised labour'.

He commended Obayuwana for presenting the bill to civil society groups for consideration, adding that it was another 'milestone towards transparency in governance as against the usual secrecy that has shielded governance in Nigeria.'

Reviewing the bill, Mr Anthony Ewere, a lecturer at University of Benin, UNIBEN, observed that the bill was more comprehensive than similar bills passed by some states, pointing out, however, that there are grey areas in the proposal which needed to be reviewed to ensure that all options were considered.

In his response, Obayuwana assured that the state government does not have any particular interest in its quest to proposed the bill other than to ensure transparency in its dealings, just he stressed the resolve of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led administration to ensure that the people of the state enjoys the dividends of good governance.