The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) with assistance from the World Bank is implementing the Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement Project (SPESSE). The Project development objective is to develop sustainable capacity in managing procurement, environment and social safeguards in the public sector. SPESSE is conceived on the need to bridge the gap between insufficient supply of quality professionals in the procurement, environmental and social sectors and the lack of academic programs and curriculum in these sectors in the Nigerian education system. The cornerstone of SPESSE implementation is the creation of Centres of Excellence (CE) in Nigerian Universities to deliver a series of capacity building tracks in a sustainable manner in procurement, environmental and social standards. Key stakeholders are involved in the strategic design of the tracks and will be engaged in their implementation. This capacity development project is strategically and operationally planned in an aligned and coordinated manner across all tiers of government and involve all stakeholders (national and sub-national government, development partners, NGOs, private sector, etc.). The Project is linked to a real-time performance and change management program, which will ensure the elevation of capacities in Nigeria with full reliance on technology, including e-learning tools and facilities.

Project Components

SPESSE has 2 components:

Component 1

Technical Assistance and Support to Implementing Agencies

This component will provide technical assistance to implementing agencies, including procurement of ICT systems and operational support (through Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLI).


  1. Technical Assistance and DLI-based Support to BPP, EA Department and FMWASD
  2. Technical Assistance and DLI-based Support to National Universities Commission (NUC)
  3. Technical Assistance to NUC for the Campaign for Change. Technical Assistance to the Ministry of Finance (MoF)

Component 2

Establishment and operating the Centres of Excellence

Component 2 will finance the setting-up of the Centreers of Excellence (CE) and support their roll-out, based on DLI-based payments.


  1. Funding support to the CE to facilitate project start-up
  2. DLI-based support to operating CEs

Roles, Objectives, and Structure of IAs under the SPESSE Project

SPESSE is a multi-sectoral project, involving various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. It, therefore, requires systematic cross-ministerial and institutional coordination, collaboration, learning and teamwork. The Project has five implementing agencies (IAs), each with an implementation unit, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of and reporting on the project’s component which applies to it. The IAs are:
i. National Universities Commission
ii. Federal Ministry of Finance
iii. Federal Ministry of Environment
iv. Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Affairs
v. Bureau of Public Procurement

The National Universities Commission (NUC) is the lead coordinating agency and houses the Independent National Facilitation Unit (INFU), as part of its oversight role. The INFU is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Project management systems, which include project-related policies, reporting, financial and procedural systems, budget allocations, information management, and overall project progress monitoring and evaluation. The Unit will also reinforce Centre-level with activities such as facilitating capacity building/training programmes, providing monitoring tools, benchmarking performance criteria, and supervising circular developments.

The NUC, through the INFU, will be responsible for designing curricula for programmes in the SPESSCEs, developing digitisation tools, executing the campaign for change programme, and supervising the design and roll-out of all Certificate, Post Graduate Diplomas, and degree programmes in the Centres of Excellence. It will also determine eligibility criteria for the acceptance of students into the PES programmes, supervise the implementation of academic programmes at the Centres of Excellence, and monitor and evaluate the implementation of all academic activities in the Centres.

The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF) is responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of Project implementation. The Ministry is also responsible for the disbursement of funds, to the NUC and through the NUC, to the ACEs. The FMOF has the responsibility of coordinating bi-annual or ad hoc meetings with all implementing agencies. The Federal Ministry of Environment (through its EA Department), the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) are accountable for specific aspects of project implementation. They liaise with the INFU regarding the technical content of the curricula (in their specific fields) for academic programmes in the Centres, particularly, short (Track A) courses. The three ministries are also responsible for supervising the delivery of these short courses as well as coordinating the certification of students and trainees. In addition to the roles outlined for the three MDAs, the FMWA is responsible for building the capacity of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Social Development, for strategic planning, monitoring social standards practice and certification. The TWG was constituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria and comprises all anchor ministries with social development agenda, namely FMWA, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FML&E), and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW&H).

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