The Edo State Government has trained 185 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on guidelines and procedures for participating in the public contracting exercises, in a bid to open up the space for more credible and versatile local businesses to access public and private funded projects.
The training was organized by the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA) in Benin City and had Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), contractors and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in attendance.
Head of Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said the training is aimed at providing SMEs with the right knowledge and skillset to bid for government contracts as they continue to seek ways to find their feet in the wake of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that the development would ensure that SMEs are well prepared to adequately participate in the state’s economy.
He said: “We are building the capacity of SMEs in Edo State. This means they are breaking barriers for procurement. With these skills, when a large-scale investor comes to the state to do business, the local players will be ready to properly engage. If they don’t find one who meets their criteria, they would be tempted to look outside the state. We don’t want this. This is why this training is important.”
On his part, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Edo State Public Procurement Agency (EDPPA), Mr. Henry Idogun said contractors only have to be competent and possess the right skills for the job to win contracts in Edo, adding that the training is aimed at building the capacity of contractors and SMEs with the requisite qualifications in rebuilding Edo’s post covid-19 economy.