by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
One of the the winners’ groups being trained by Accountability Lab Nigeria to create awareness among citizens in the procurement process in Plateau State has taken the first step of awareness to the Jenta Community, in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau.
The Four-man group, called “Winner Group,” begun their visit to the District Head of Kabong, Jos; thereafter met with the stakeholders in Jenta, because there is an ongoing road project within the area.
Leader the team, Mr. Polycap Auta, stated that, “The essence of our visit was to create awareness on the Procurement Process on government projects in the State.
While explaining the work of Accountability Lab Nigeria, he also explained the work of the Public Procurement Process in the State on how this can also facilitate citizens’ engagement for them to also demand accountability through their processes on services, which have been provided in their communities’ service delivery.
He told them thus: “Most of these projects are implemented, but people do not even know how; but once they are able to provide this information, it will help them and the government to decide and make decisions on which community, what they need, how they will be engaged and facilitate development in the community; and that is more like citizens’ engagement. This can help service delivery, generally, where services can be provided through Procurement Processes,” he added.
According him, “The Accountability Lab wants to enhance or improve the system with people around working with the Procurement Processes, with especially the network of journalists and contractors, who should be their innovators – to see how they can continue to provide solution to the government.
“The Winner Group is to create awareness among citizens in the procurement process in Plateau State, create synergy between the citizen and government on the procurement process that addresses corruption and make the government responsible and accountable.” They also advocated for engagement with government officials and other relevant stakeholders.
Responding, the District Head of Kabong, Da Gabriel Adamu Sha, appreciated the team for their visit for creating awareness for them and on the Procurement Process, saying that, they do not hitherto know what Procurement Process meant, but now they have understood; that the team’s visit has added more knowledge to them.
He said, “There is a road project from Summit Hotel Juction to Jenta, which the governor promised in his first tenure – during his visit to one of the Churches in Jenta – to construct, and the contractor came and started grading, as if work will start; but after grading, the work stopped. Up till now, nothing has been done,” he said.
Also, during the Stakeholders’ meeting, leader of Jenta Community Cabala Bako Bwede, welcome the team and commended them for their efforts in creating awareness for them.
He noted that they had no idea of what the Public Procurement Process was all about; but now that the team has come and created this awareness for them, they can now monitor any government projects that would come after, so that such project(s) can be pushed to completion.
Some the communities expressed happiness for the visit, saying that the Road Project that government promised them is still there. On the other hand, they noted with displeasure that, whenever they see the contractor and asked what is the situation, he gets angry.
They appealed to government to have mercy on the community and fulfill its promise made to them by constructing the Jenta Road.
The “Winners’ Team” members are: Mr. Polycarp Auta (team leader), with Christiana G. Gokyo, Kingsley Chukwuka and Juliet Edward.