Six federal universities have been selected to lead a project by the Nigerian government which is targeted at producing experts in procurement.

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) broke the news in a statement on Monday.

According to the NUC, the federal government is set to implement the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement (SPESSE) project.

The NUC said the project is targeted at producing experts in procurement, environmental and social standards in Nigeria.

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SPESSE is a multi-sectoral project that seeks to address training, professionalisation, and research in procurement, environmental and social standards, through certification, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies.

The NUC also said the SPESSE will establish strategic partnerships with leading international research funding, research performing, and international capacity building organisations as well as top-performing institutions.

The six federal varsities selected include the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), University of Benin (UNIBEN), and University of Lagos (UNILAG).

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NUC said the World Bank-backed project will support governance, increase transparency, competition, equal opportunity, sustainability as well as environmental and social standard management in the public and private sectors.

The project is to be launched by Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo at the NUC headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

SPESSE is also to be implemented by the NUC, the bureau of public procurement (BPP), the ministry of finance, budget and national planning; the ministry of environment, and the ministry of women affairs and social development.

While speaking with stakeholders, Abubakar Rasheed, NUC executive- secretary, expressed his excitement at the potentials of the project and the possibilities it will offer both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.

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Rasheed added that the six centres were selected through a very objective, competitive, and rigorous selection process.

On his part, Bayo Awosemusi, the project task team leader at the World Bank, said the SPESSE — being the first of its kind for both the World Bank and Nigeria — will be the hub for Africa and it would take the six selected universities to make that happen.



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