About 30 smallholder businesses representing Bong and Nimba counties, have praised the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOC) for building their capacities in the procurement process and how to bid for contracts from the government and other entities through the PPCC (Public Procurement Concession Commission) procedures.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer in Ganta on Thursday, June 21, 2018, the participants, most of them young people, expressed gratitude, adding that the training had given knowledge that will enable them to go through any bidding process.
Mr. Amara B. Koneh, General Manager of Smart Welding Garage, in Gbarnga, Bong County, said he never knew the functions of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) since it was established until he attended the training.
He said he and the others were trained on how to apply for a contract, the procedures involved and how to make business survey before getting into a particular business.
“We the business people have been insinuating that the government has selected companies or businesses to do business with, so we were serious to know the meaning or functions of PPCC,” he said.
“With this training workshop, we now know it is by your innovation, your ambition, and passion that make you win a contract,” Moses Domah of Standard Garage, in Ganta, said.
According to him, they were made to know that the government is the biggest buyer, so it is prudent to go through the bidding process, by checking newspapers and online for any advertisement.
Ms. Korpu Mulbah, 26, finance officer at Passion Guest House, expressed enthusiasm for the training. She said it gave her the knowledge she needed at college level about the procurement process.
“The workshop impacted my knowledge a lot, because I thought about strategic business planning, how to go about procuring at the small business level, how to win a government contract, and the process involved and so on,” she said.
The workshop, under the banner “Business Opportunities through Support Services (BOSS) Project,” was held under the theme, “Training for Strategic Planning to Win Public Procurement Contract for Small Businesses in the Counties.” It brought together 40 participants, representing 30 small business entities.
It was organized by the Ministry of Commerce in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Samuel Jacobs, Director for Capacities Development Performance Monitor at the Small Business Administration, (MOC) said the BOSS project is at the pilot stage, covering four counties, including Bong, Bassa, Margibi, and Nimba.
He said the MOC wants to ensure that businesses out of Monrovia are capable to participate in public procurement in the next budget year, and should be able to develop a strategic plan, at least for one year and also want to see businesses networking among themselves.
He said the participants represented businesses that the government can procure from, such as construction workers, gasoline sellers, real estate, stationery owners, among others.
Himmie Langford of the PPCC told the participants that the PPCC has an appeal mechanism, to where if a business owner feels cheated, he can go for redress. He assured the public that this mechanism is working and has rendered judgment in situations involving big entities.