The initial stage of Girls and Women Initiative in Nigeria (G-WIN) has started with Federal Ministry of Water Resources playing host to the scheme. The theme for the pilot scheme is; Procurement Reform- Did Evaluation and Comparison. The procurement programme was meant for professional women who must have at least diploma in education. This was revealed to newsmen by one of the resources persons and a consultant to G-WIN, Mrs. Priscilla M. Achakpa. She said some of the ladies chosen for the pilot stage have Phd.
The programme is aimed at preparing women to be competitive in bidding for government contracts. “You know that business is men’s empire that is why the scheme is designed to train girl and women to be to go for competitive bidding”, she said. On how the participants were chosen, she said it was advertised in This Day and Daily Trust Newspapers and they were directed to an online portal to fill some forms. So those who were at the occasion were few that pasted the online test. The scheme was meant to train at least 30ladies and at most 60. This initial stage of G-WIN Project is meant to train ladies on procurement and how they can manage their businesses.
G-WIN was created by the Presidency to cater for women and girls in the rural areas who are hard to reach. Mrs. Achakpa revealed that five Federal Ministries were selected to run the project for the government; Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources, Communications, Works and Finance. Four States of Abia, Bauchi, Plateau and Osun were chosen for the pilot scheme. According to her, the scheme is intended to train 11,000 girls and women. Professional training of the scheme will take place in Lagos and Abuja, while other trainings will take place in rural areas.
Mrs. Achakpa, said rural training will begin in 10communities in two local government areas of Plateau and Bauchi States in the last week of January 2014. It will be based on facilities and operations management. The rural girls will encouraged to form co-operatives are be trained to manage boreholes in their areas. She said those to be trained will be empowered and advised to repay it as soon as possible so that others can also benefit.
Anther resource person at the event was Engr. Tunde Kuye, the Director of Agric and Water Resources in Bureau of Public Procurement. He said that procurement reform started in 2001 in order stop the rot in the sector. He said the concept was to make the process competitive, transparent a accountable. Also more contractors now go to bid for government contracts. Over 56Billion naira has been saved in government bidding since the reform started.
He said there are provisions for sanctions on civil servants who indulge in shady deals in procurement processes. He said the bureau is compiling a data base of contractors and consultants which will be made public and updated regularly. He also said that aggrieved contractors were able to get judgments 68 wrongly awarded jobs, and that 1/3 of them went contractors who did not go for the petitions. According to him that shows transparency in the new order.
Pharm. Barr. Ben Amodu spoke on the legal requirement of public procurement. He said that everybody is free to bid for government jobs, provided his business is a legal entity. This he said can be made possible by registering with Corporate Affairs Commissions (CAC).