The Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development has organized a three-day workshop for Procurement Officers of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) within the Northern and Oti Regions on the implementation of the Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project.
The government of Ghana allocated 150 million dollars credit facility to support the socioeconomic growth of the populace in 48 MMDAs as well as ensure climate resilience of border communities in the target Northern regions.
The SOCO project is aimed at making a significant contribution to the improvement of the socio-economic resilience of the Northern parts of the Gulf of Guinea countries that are hardest hit by fragilities due to food insecurity and climate change, conflicts, and violence and more importantly exposure to the spillover from the Sahel region.
The project also offers a way to coordinate border area investment to enhance regional level communication among participating countries.
At the event on Thursday, 27 July, 2023 the Northern Regional Minister Hon. Shani Alhassan Shaibu, in his address delivered on his behalf by the Regional Budget Analyst, Mr. Mahammud Haruna said that, the effective management of Public Procurement activities of both government and donor-funded projects is crucial to ensuring value for money, transparency and accountability.
“It involves the observance of clear procurement laws, guidelines and procedures in accurate cost estimation, competitive bidding and effective contract management,” he said.
“We need to ensure that the various procurement strategies we employ in the execution of our duties align with the overall project objectives to promote the local economy, ensure gender equality and environmental sustainability. It is therefore worth noting that this training programme seeks to sensitize staff to understand and appreciate the donor requirements and specifications to effectively manage procurement activities of the SOCO project”, he added.
He urged the participants to fully take advantage of the training to acquire the requisite skills at the end of the training, hopping that at the end of this training, participants would gain in-depth knowledge on Public Procurement Management of Donor Funded Projects within the context of World Bank Procurement Regulations.
The Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and rural Development, Hon. Daniel Botwe (MP) in his keynote address delivered on his behalf by the Director, Human Resource Management, Mr. Kwabena Denkyira assured his personal commitment to the effective implementation of the SOCO project and ensuring that the objectives are realized.
He was optimistic that the delivery of the project will lead to increased productivity and job creation; improved access to basic services and economic opportunities; climate resilience and improved cross-border trade and information sharing within the Gulf of Guinea Region.
“The workshop training was designed to build the capacities of Procurement Officers, Heads of Works, Finance Officers, Project Focal Persons from the beneficiary MMDAs as well as Heads of Procurement from the six beneficiary Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Engineers from the Zonal Coordinating and Satellite Offices of the PIU to ensure smooth procurement processes as well as implementation of the project”, he said.
“The training has come at an opportune time where the Ministry in collaboration with the 48 MMDAs has launched the procurement of 582 sub-projects in the areas of connectivity, social infrastructure, markets, water systems, health facilities, as well as supply critical logistics for educational and health institutions”, he stressed.