by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
PLATEAU STATE: The Gwarap Community, in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau, has expressed dissatisfaction on elected members and political appointees in their community over hijacking any project meant for the community by Government or NGOs.
Secretary of the community, Sukada Wakka, and the Youth Secretary, Goteng Jude, spoke to one of the trained group of journalists, called ‘Winner,’ by Hackathon Accountability Lab on Public Procurement Process in Pankshin recently.
The group was on advocacy visits to the community to create awareness on Public Procurement Processes on government projects within the community.
According to them, whenever a project is being executed or contract is being awarded, the community would not even know what happened, and the project would not be executed.
They lamented that, their political appointees are diverting the projects so that the community does not benefit from it, adding that, there should be a sharing formula and let the project reach the masses.
While appealing that, there should be distribution, they stressed that, when NGOs are executing projects or private, individuals should let the community know so that it could also be part of it, saying, this would help them to monitor the project.
The Gwarap Community appreciated the Winner Group for educating them on what Plateau State Bureau for Public Procurement is all about.
Speaking earlier, team leader of the Winner Group, Polycap Auta, explained what Hackathon Accountability Lab is and what the Plateau State Bureau for Public Procurement does, and told the community that the group were there to create awareness among citizens in the procurement process in Plateau State, and has taken the second step of awareness to Gwarap Community in Pankshin Local Government Area of the State.
He said, the essence of their visit was to create awareness on the Procurement Process on government projects in the State, while explaining that, the work of Accountability Lab Nigeria, and its work of the Public Procurement Process in the State is 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.
According to him, 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.
He said, this can help service delivery, generally, where services can be provided through Procurement Processes, adding that, 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 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.