Oxfam Nigeria, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has commended the Federal Government for adopting the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), a national action plan on open contracting.
CSO Programme Officer, Celestine Odo, made the commendation while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that it was a good initiative by the Federal Government, which if properly administered, would help citizens monitor projects and contracts at every stage and also reduce corruption in the contracting system.
He, however, said a structure should be put in place by the civil society, to ensure transparency and accountability in the entire process.
Odo also said it was a welcome development, that some states were already adopting the system.
The OCDS was recently launched by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
It was designed around four distinct cases: mainly value for money, detection of fraud and corruption, as well as competing for contracts and monitoring service delivery.
On poverty, Odo said government should prioritise its reduction.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identified poverty, inequality and unemployment as some major challenges Nigeria is facing, similarly, poverty and inequality are on the increase.
“Government should prioritise reduction of poverty in the society.
“Agriculture has over the years been allocated less than two per cent in the budget.
‘’However, agriculture, education and health are areas that if the government invests seriously, it would go a long way in bridging inequality and reducing poverty in the country,’’ Odo said.
NAN reports that Oxfam Nigeria aims at ensuring transparent and accountable government, active citizens and a private sector that works toward shared growth.
It is also to ensure equitable resources to meet the needs of the people, especially the vulnerable ones.