Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has formally launched the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement Project, SPESSE .
Professor Osinbajo said it was key to achieving and maintaining sustainable physical infrastructure.
Launching the project in Abuja, the Vice President said if Nigeria must achieve the objectives of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan ERGP, and the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, the country must get it right in procurement, environmental and social safeguards.
He said, “Nigeria must make progress in reducing the high cost of governance in the public sector as well as be strengthened by entrenching transparency and accountability at all levels of government,while issues relating to construction ,rehabilitation and extension of existing buildings, acquisition of lands ,purchase of laboratory equipment ,disposal of reagents and samples amongst others must conform with world standards”.
Adequate Technical Capacity
Professor Osinbajo noted that to achieve this, there was need to build adequate technical capacity required for efficient and effective procurement, environmental and social safeguard systems.
Speaking on the need to review the procurement act of 2017, the Vice President expressed government’s satisfaction in the existing laws, saying if need be for amendment, proposal would be made to the National Assembly on it.
He said, “We are satisfied with how the procurement cat of 2017 is being implemented at the moment ,but administrative powers to deal with legal issues will be subject to when the National Assembly will have to debate and agree on revolving such powers”.
The Vice President was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chuwkuemeka Nwajiuba.
Time To Grow Home-Grown Experts
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said it was time to grow home-grown experts in procurement to address issues in capital projects.
He called for accelerated implementation of the projects.
“This will address issues of inefficiencies in procurement &lack of compliance in social standards,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Adamu Rasheed ,said Nigeria was finally on the path to developing the much-needed critical mass of professionals in the fields of Procurement, Environmental Standards and Social Standards.
“The SPESSE Project is Nigeria’s first attempt at institutionalising sustainable capacity building in the fields of Procurement, Environmental, and Social Standards, by offering professionalisation and academic programmes in a custom-made, fit-for-purpose and sustainable manner, through the Centres of Excellence.
This project is a capacity building one that assures results across the entire Nigerian economy”
Responding on behalf of the SPESSE host centres , the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe ,expressed readiness of the universities to host the centres, saying University of Lagos already has over 12 functional centres.
The objective of the World Bank sponsored project , SPESSE is to develop human capacity in procurement management in the public and private sectors and to produce competent and intellectually sound procurement professionals.
The Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement Project centres, SPESSE , are domiciled in six universities across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The Universities are University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi; Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the University of Benin.
Vice President launches Sustainable Procurement Project