The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD) has held a three-day training workshop for selected officials from 48 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) on procurement processes and management.
The training was part of series of workshops and engagements towards the implementation of the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) project in 48 Districts in the Upper East Region, Northern, Upper West, North East, Savannah and Oti Regions by the MLGDRD in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The project, which is a multi-country US$450 million credit facility from the World Bank to be implemented in Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, Togo and Benin, was launched by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in Bolgatanga in November 2022.
Out of the total amount, the Government of Ghana would be allocated US$ 150 million.
The project is aimed to provide support to the Northern parts of the Gulf of Guinea countries that suffer instabilities owing to food insecurity, climate change, conflict and violence.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr. Daniel Botwe, the Sector Minister, said the workshop was designed to build the capacities of Procurement Officers, Heads of Works, Finance Officers, and Project Focal Persons from the beneficiary MMDAs.
He said it would also build capacities of Heads of Procurements from the six beneficiary Regional Coordinating Councils and Engineers from the Zonal Coordinating and Satellite Offices of the Project Implementation Units to ensure smooth procurement processes and implementation.
“I wish to state that this training has come at an opportune time, where the Ministry, in collaboration with the 48 beneficiary MMDAs, has launched the procurement of 582 sub-projects in the areas of connectivity, social infrastructure, markets, water systems, health facilities and supply critical logistics for educational and health institutions.
“Indeed, the delivery of these sub-projects will promote job creation, build trust as well as bring communities together to enjoy a shared vision through the provision of their most critical needs,” Mr Botwe said.
He said per the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as Amended with (Act 914), there were laid down procedures towards the engagement of services or supply of goods, “Likewise, the financiers of the Project, thus, the World Bank have laid down procedures for the procurement of services, works and goods.
“This training is therefore expected to build your capacities in both the Government of Ghana’s Procurement procedures and that of the World Bank,” the Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Okere Constituency, said.
He reminded participants at the workshop that the project required the appreciation and active engagement of all stakeholders.
Mr. Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, in a speech delivered on his behalf, noted that the training workshop sought to provide deeper insight on the procurement processes and arrangements of the World Bank that governed the implementation of all SOCO sub-projects.
He said public procurement had over the years been critical in the governance process of Ghana, “It was in view of this that the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended was enacted to provide the framework by which public entities acquire goods, works and services.
Mr. Yakubu noted that public procurement accounted for more than 17 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which remained an issue to government.
“Public Procurement also constitutes about 40 per cent of all public corruption, therefore the need to build the capacity of MMDAs staff on the procurement processes and arrangements regarding the SOCO project,” he said.
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