The federal government has picked the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), University of Benin (UNIBEN) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) to implement the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement (SPESSE) project.
A multi-sectoral project, with support from the World Bank, the SPESSE project is meant to produce experts in procurement, environmental and social standards for higher education in Nigeria.
It also seeks to address training, professionalism 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.
Scheduled to be launched by the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at NUC, Abuja, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, SPESSE aims to establish strategic partnerships with leading international research funding, research performing and international capacity building organisations and top performing institutions.
Addressing stakeholders in Abuja, executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, said he was excited at the potentials of SPESSE and the possibilities that it offered both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He stated that the six centres 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.
The executive secretary commended the vice-chancellors of the selected universities for the key roles they played in developing the winning proposals and urged them to continue to support the centres for the benefit of their universities, the Nigerian University System (NUS) and the country in general.
Also speaking, the project coordinator of SPESSE project implementation unit at NUC, Dr Joshua Atah, said the project would be implemented by the commission, 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.