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NUC Selects UNILAG, Others for SPESSE Project

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By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has selected six federal universities for the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement (SPESSE) project to be launched by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday.

The SPESSE aims to establish strategic partnerships with leading international research funding, research performing and international capacity building organisations and top performing institutions.

According to a statement issued by the Project Coordinator of SPESSE Project Implementation Unit at NUC, Mr Joshua Atah, the institutions picked include the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), and University of Benin (UNIBEN).

The 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.

“This is to support governance, increase transparency, competition, equal opportunity, sustainability as well as environmental and social standard management in the public and private sectors.

”The project will be implemented by the 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,” the project coordinator noted.

In his remarks, the NUC Executive Secretary, Mr Abubakar Rasheed, expressed optimism that the potentials of SPESSE and the possibilities that it offered will benefit both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Rasheed 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.

He further 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, as well as the Nigerian University System (NUS) and the country in general.

Also, the Project Task Team Leader at the World Bank, Mr Bayo Awosemusi, added that SPESSE, being the first of its kind for both the World Bank and Nigeria, would make the country a hub for Africa.

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