The long strive towards responsive governance in Nigeria though slow has been gradual. One of the great strides is the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 modified in 2011. Lagos State government, known for its pacesetting in good governance as enacted Lagos State Public Procurement Law 2011. This law, according to section 8(6) is to attain transparency, competitiveness, professionalism and guarantee integrity and public trust in the public procurement procedure for the state.
Public procurement is the process by which government departments or agencies acquire or purchase goods and services from the private sector or contractual agencies. It is technically the process of acquiring new services or products and includes contract strategy, documentation and contractor selection. Principles of good public procurement include financial prudency, efficiency and quality assurance, openness, reciprocity, transparency and accountability. With these best practices, good dividends for the populace can be guaranteed. The Act is effective on all public institutions covered by the Act, including Ministries, parastatals and agencies.
Civil society and the Media have been public mercenaries for public advocacy, mass enlightenment and arsenals for demanding accountability from various governments in Nigeria. The Nigeria media cannot afford to fail on this civic responsibility. One benefit of Public Procurement Act is the provision for ordinary Nigerians, and the media to have access to important information about public procurements and other related information. The media needs to strike a balance between their information business and civic enlightenment which has lent them the great credence over the years. A public procurement that is void of “proactive disclosure” should first be detected by the media and without compromise, disseminated to the public.
Media can use behaviour change communication approaches to christen a sane and transparent public procurement process in Nigeria. Indigenous language usage in programming can help penetrate and enlighten the grassroots.