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Productivity centre trains staff on project monitoring tools

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
29 September 2022   |   2:39 am
The National Productivity Centre (NPC) has cautioned its project monitoring teams against indulging in activities that could stunt their execution.

Dr. Kashim Akor,

The National Productivity Centre (NPC) has cautioned its project monitoring teams against indulging in activities that could stunt their execution.

The Director-General of the Centre, Dr. Kashim Akor, who stated this while speaking at the training of monitoring and evaluation officers in Abuja, said every project executed must meet the standard set and at a minimal cost.

“Over the past few years, the Centre has been executing zonal intervention projects under constituency projects of the National Assembly and even our programmes. So, I believe that to have value for money spent and ensure a good delivery of the projects, there must be proper monitoring and evaluation. This is why the Centre decided that all its project inspectors and monitors are brought under one roof to train on the importance of the assignment that has been given to them. Though the Director-General is responsible for all programmes and projects of the Centre, the DG cannot be at every location at the same time and cannot singlehandedly monitor all the projects and programmes of the Centre,” he said.

He urged the project monitors to be good ambassadors of the Centre, while on the field, saying, “the staff in the field, who monitor projects, should be on the same page with the thinking of the DG, as dictated by the Chairman of the board as well as our supervising Minister. What I expect from them is total efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of the contracts.”

He highlighted that the training was organised to expose the monitors to the relevance of the job they are doing and for them to know what they are supposed to do when they go to the field and for them to give proper reports when they return.

“This is very important because, without a proper report, the DG will not approve payment for any contractor. To achieve our aim, we have brought resource persons from the BPP, Budget Office, budget and evaluation unit and the ICPC. The presence of ICPC is very apt here because they are the ones that often track constituency projects nationwide to share the experiences they garner in the field. We want ICPC to share with us what they often notice such as the lapses, the connivance of project inspectors, and the penalties and repercussions for such connivance to defraud the government.

“Above all, this programme is aimed at enhancing our procurement process, the delivery process and ensuring that money allocated for community development by the government engenders the desired impact,” he stated.

In their joint presentation, Olabanji Kolade and Olatunde Oniyanda of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning harped on why monitoring and evaluation are important to governments.

In their paper, ‘Principles of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)’, they submitted that monitoring and evaluation support policymaking, especially budget decisions, performance budgeting and national planning.

They added that the concept also helps government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in their policy development and policy analysis work and programme development and also helps government MDAs manage activities at the policy, programme and project levels.

The paper added: “The concept enhances transparency and supports accountability relationships by revealing the extent to which the government has attained its desired objectives. Monitoring and evaluation findings can contribute to sound governance in several ways such as evidence-based policy making (including budget decision making), policy development, management, and accountability.”

According to the presenters, Monitoring and evaluation determine the degree of achievement of the programme objectives, determine problems associated with programme planning and implementation and determine the lessons learned for future programmes and projects.

The paper added: “Effective coordination of Monitoring and evaluation activities through collaboration, cooperation and consultation is pertinent for every successful project. Project managers should be empowered to have both political and financial control over project management. Monitoring and Evaluation provide feedback in terms of performance, compliance, plan, objectives effectiveness, impact and sustenance of the project.”