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X-raying FUTO CE-sPESS workshops in Ebonyi

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards (CE-sPESS) of the prestigious Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) once again recorded another history in her usual stride targeted towards educating and informing key professionals in the private and public sectors. In another remarkable and epochal outing, the FUTO CEsPESS – on Saturday 17th February 2024 – graciously rounded off a 5-Day Training Workshops on Executive Courses, which concurrently took place at Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki and David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences (DUFUHS) Uburu, both in Ebonyi State.

It’s noteworthy that these workshops were organized barely a few months after the Centre successfully conducted her outreach trainings in Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU) Umudike, respectively. In her Welcome Address during the Opening Ceremony at EBSU Tuesday 13th February 2024, the Centre Director, Engr. Prof. Gloria Chukwudebe gladly appreciated the presence of the participants and distinguished guests. Prof. Chukwudebe – having thanked the sponsors of the project, the World Bank and the National Universities Commission (NUC) – notified the gathering that the CE-sPESS has three programme areas in the study curriculum, namely: Procurement Management, Environmental Standards and Social Standards. The Director – who strongly commended the FUTO ViceChancellor, Prof. Mrs. Nnenna N. Oti for her supports since inception, equally informed the audience that five different tracks are currently being run in the Centre, which are: Track A — Executive Courses. Track B — Advanced Certificate Programme. Track C — Postgraduate Diploma (PGD). Track D — Master’s (M.Sc). Track E — Undergraduate (Degree/B.Sc.) In his Opening Address, the Vice-Chancellor of EBSU, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu elatedly commended the FUTO CE-sPESS facilitators for going outside their comfort zone to impact the needed knowledge as regards procurement matters. Prof. Ogbu, ably represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) on Academics, Prof. Eugene Nweke assured the members of the CE-sPESS Team of their safety as long as the trainings last. On her part, the ViceChancellor of FUTO, Prof. Mrs. Nnenna N. Oti immensely thanked the Management of EBSU for hosting the FUTO team, and accepting to partner with the visiting University.

Prof. Oti, who spoke virtually via Zoom, assured the EBSU that their efforts would not be a waste, rather a sacrifice that would yield a formidable fruit in the long run. In his Goodwill Message, the Vice-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndifu-Alike (FUNAI), Prof. Sunday Elom commended the hosting and visiting Universities for the collaboration towards bringing the required professional knowledge to the people’s doorstep. Prof. Elom – ably represented by the Desk Officer of the Academic Staff Training & Development TetFund of the University, Dr. Mrs. Rita Alo Uzoma – urged the participants to be very attentive while the training is being conducted. In her words, the Ebonyi State Head of Service (HoS), Dr. Mrs. Rita Mary Okoro applauded the FUTO CE-sPESS for going extra-mile to ensure that the relevant professionals aptly acquire the skills. The HoS – who was well represented by the Permanent Secretary & Executive Secretary of the State Council on Public Procurement, Mrs. Betty Ify Uzoma – expressed delight that the workshops would help to properly educate the public servants on what they needed to know regarding procurement issues.

The National Coordinator of the SPESSE Project of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr. Joshua Attah commended the members of the FUTO CE-sPESS Team for their remarkable contributions since the commencement of the national project. Dr. Attah, who was ably represented by Mr. Obi Ukwuagu of the NUC, noted that the efforts of the Centre were well appreciated by the Commission. On his part, the Commissioner for Finance in Ebonyi State, Dr. Leonard Chukwuma Uguru joyfully welcomed the CE-sPESS for the dogged step taken to ensure the people of the state pass through the needed tutelage. Dr. Uguru, who was impressed over the sacrifice of the Centre, enjoined the participants to take every bit of the training seriously. On the occasion of the Closing Ceremony at DUFUHS, Uburu, the Centre Director, Engr. Prof. Chukwudebe immensely applauded the participants for the sacrifice rendered throughout the intensive trainings.

The Director – ably represented by the Centre’s PES Research Leader, Prof. Alex Opara – told the gathering that the Centre would reach out to the key officers of the University (DUFUHS) who registered and joined the workshop at the beginning but could not continue. “We will give them access to our self-paced programme materials, so they can conclude the training and get certificates”. The Director used the event to remind the audience that the FUTO CE-sPESS would soonest be having another Screening Test for the Second Batch of her Postgraduate Admission. In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of DUFUHS, Prof. Jesse Uneke appreciated the FUTO CE-sPESS for coming to partner with the University all the way from Owerri to Uburu. Prof. Uneke – ably represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Brian Ogbonna – stated that the University (DUFUHS) would keep contacting the CEsPESS going forward for a greater collaboration. According to the VC, the University Community was so pleased to have the presence of the FUTO CE-sPESS in Uburu to impact the rare knowledge on the people of the area. In their individual remarks, the Class Governors from the three Programme Areas – Procurement Management, Environmental Standards & Social Standards – strongly commended the Management of the FUTO CE-sPESS for thinking Uburu in its quest to deliver the prime objectives of the Centre. They expressed delight that the Resource Personnel sent to educate them were well grounded and of high profile. When called for a Vote of Thanks, the Centre’s Legal Officer, Barr. Dr. Chuks Molokwu deeply thanked the Management of DUFUHS for granting the Centre an enabling environment. He, on the other hand, appreciated the members of the Workshop Planning Team for the job well-done.

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