Agency, UN collaborate in training of procurement specialists
In a bid to boost the economic fortunes of women-owned businesses in Lagos State, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, in collaboration with UN Women, has organised a two-day training programme for procurement specialists.
The training, held in Ikeja, was aimed at strengthening the capacity of public institutions to formulate and implement affirmative procurement policies and increase awareness and understanding on affirmative procurement principles.
The programme was also designed to highlight areas of engaging policy makers towards supporting women-owned enterprises.
The Director General of the agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, told the participants that the collaboration of the agency with the UN Women in the training programme would facilitate the empowerment of women-owned businesses, to enable them benefit more from public procurement.
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He thanked the UN Women and its partners for the laudable initiative, which, he said, was in tandem with the objective of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to operate an inclusive government in which women and other vulnerable groups could enjoy opportunities in government through participation in public procurement.
In a paper delivered at the event, the UN Women Programme Specialist, Dr. Chukwuemeka Onyimadu, identified some of the challenges encountered by women in business. The challenges, he noted, included lack of education, lack of access to relevant information, lack of capital, complexity of the processes involved in public procurement, delays in payment, sexual harassment, gender-based violence, among others.
Mrs. Andidiong Okon of the Open Contracting Partnership said gender inclusive open contracting approach could influence and change power dynamics in favour of gender equity and inclusive growth.
Mrs. Patience Ekechukwu, the programme coordinator, thanked participants for their contributions and assured the agency of the commitment of the UN Women towards working with the state government to ensure increased participation of women-led businesses in public procurement.
The Registrar of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN), Alhaji Mohammed Aliyu; procurement officers from the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency and some selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state participated in the programme.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, attended the opening ceremony.