By Grace Udofia
Six public universities have been shortlisted, as the Federal Government of Nigeria is set to implement the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement (SPESSE) a project sponsored by the World Bank for the production of experts in procurement, environmental and social standards in the country.
This was contained in a press release issued by Joshua Atah, Coordinator of SPESSE Project Implementation Unit of National Universities Commission (NUC).
He listed the universities to include the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, (ATBU), Bauchi; Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM); Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO); University of Benin (UNIBEN) and University of Lagos (UNILAG).
According to him, the project is scheduled to be launched by the country’s Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at NUC headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
He said, “SPESSE is a multi-sectoral project, with support from the World Bank, which seeks to address training, professionalisation and research in procurement, environmental and social standards, through certification, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies
“To support governance, increase transparency, competition, equal opportunity, sustainability as well as environmental and social standard management in the public and private sectors.
“It will be implemented by the National Universities Commission (NUC), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Federal Ministry of Environment and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
“SPESSE aims to establish strategic partnerships with leading international research funding, research performing and international capacity building organisations and top performing institutions.”
Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, while addressing stakeholders, said he is excited at the potentials of SPESSE and the possibilities that it offered both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“The six centers were selected through a very objective, competitive and rigorous selection process, while the project was designed with the full participation of the private sector, including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, which represented the Industry in the design of the curricula by NUC.
“By developing curricula aligned with international standards, setting up the Centres of Excellence and supplying qualified professionals, SPESSE will improve, significantly, Nigeria’s capacity for procurement, environmental and social standards,” he said
The Project Task Team Leader at the World Bank, Chief Bayo Awosemusi, disclosed that SPESSE, being the first of its kind for both the World Bank and Nigeria, the country will be the hub for Africa and it would take the six selected universities to make that happen. He commended Professor Rasheed for his unprecedented commitment to the success of the Project.