In a surprising turn of events, the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) has recently removed the section containing contractor details from its website, raising concerns about transparency, accountability, and the potential for corruption in the country’s procurement processes. A thorough investigation conducted by SecretsReporters revealed that the portal, which was initially established to enhance transparency and citizen participation in procurement processes, no longer displays the names of contractors associated with government projects.
This significant change in the NOCOPO website has made it increasingly challenging for citizens to identify the companies responsible for undertaking public contracts. Furthermore, the absence of contractor identities raises suspicions about the involvement of politicians and civil servants in awarding contracts to companies they may own, potentially bypassing due processes and favoring personal interests over the public good.
(Screenshot showing contracts on NOCOPO without contractors’details)
Upon visiting the NOCOPO website, SecretsReporters discovered that not only have contractor details been removed, but the entire site design has undergone a noticeable transformation. The new design, while aesthetically different, raises concerns about the portal’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
NOCOPO was initially established in 2017 through a collaborative effort between Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Procurement and civil society organizations. Its primary purpose was to increase transparency, prevent corruption, and facilitate citizen participation in procurement processes. By replacing the manual and paper-based system, the portal aimed to streamline procurement practices and make information more accessible to the public.
By removing the contractor details section, observers believes NOCOPO has undermined the very principles it was designed to uphold. Citizens, who were previously able to scrutinize the identities of contractors and the directors of contracting companies, can no longer do so.