Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has challenged the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State, to develop strategies for effective implementation of government policies and programmes.
Prof. Osinbajo was speaking on Saturday at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course 41, 2019 of the NIPSS held at the institute’s auditorium.
The vice president pointed out that Nigeria’s developmental problem has never been shortage of ideas, noting that there is no policy that has not been thought of or lying down somewhere.
“This is the reason why, in my respectful view, NIPSS must graduate from a think tank to a do tank.
“Everyone who has thought through some of the development problems of our country realizes very clearly that this is where we are.
“We are at a point where policy is not the issue; we are at a point where the rigour and discipline that is required to implement is what is lacking.
Prof. Osinbajo urged the NIPSS to ensure that subsequent studies in the institute must be based on the need to attain some level of understanding of how to get things done.
The vice president said NIPSS, as Nigeria’s foremost think tank, has continued to bring together some of the country’s brightest and best minds from the armed and non-armed services, businesses, labour to think through policy ideas and options.
He said the institute affirms the notion that Nigeria’s strength lies in its human capital and its diversity.
According Vice President Osinbajo, the indepth analysis and recommendations made by the NIPSS Course 41in presentation to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday on the funding universal healthcare showed that “NIPPS must remain the go to institution for thinking ahead for our nation’s development.”
Prof. Osinbajo said there was need for Nigerians to determine what the country needs to do to leverage on technology to leapfrog in the development journey.
He said the administration of President Buhari recognizes the potential benefits to government of technology in the areas of better forecasting, greater accuracy to budget planning and enhanced security.
“This explains the Federal government’s commitment to the digital registration of all citizens and legal residents, which in turn will be linked to the civil registration of birth and death.“
In 2015, we began to harmonize existing databases of Government bodies.
“So far, the harmonization process has increased the records of Nigerians in the central identity database from 7,000,000 to more than 37, 000, 000.”
He said that with a reliable data base of all Nigerians the administration was better positioned to attain its aspirations for financial inclusion, delivery of social programmes to the remotest parts of the country and the creation of more effective e-commerce opportunities.
In his address at the event, the Director-General of the NIPSS, Prof. Habu Galadinma, said that the Senior Executive Course is aimed at expanding the outlook and perspectives of the participants, and to stretch their conceptual capacity and quality of their discernment and analysis.
Prof. Galadima said the president approves a particular theme on a burning national issue for the participants to research into and make policy recommendations based on their findings.
According to him, the theme approved for the SEC 41, 2019 was “funding universal healthcare delivery in Nigeria.”
Explaining how the theme was designed, Prof. Galadima said it was structured into six sub-themes located within the NIPSS extant course modules, encompassing subjects such as leadership policy and strategy, understanding the Nigerian state, research methodology, economic and management studies, peace and conflict studies, among others.
He said the Senior Executive Course also has field component, during which participants visit states in Nigeria and countries within and outside Africa.
Prof. Galadima said that participants in the Course 41, 2019 visited 12 states in Nigeria, and visited Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Madagascar and Mauritius, Cuba, Jordan, Pakistan, Sri Lankan Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
“I’m pleased to report that the participants of the Senior Executive Course 41, 2019, have been well equipped through rigorous and intensive research and training to contribute to government’s diversification policy and programme,” Prof. Galadima said.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates to the 66 participants who successfully completed the course.
The NIPSS was established in 1979 as the foremost think tank to provide qualitative input into the country’s policy-making process.
Conceived as a high-level institution, the primary objective of the NIPSS is to develop a crop of top-class technocrats to conceptualize and anchor the implementation of the innovative policy initiatives for national development.
The Senior Executive Course 41 was supported by the development Research and Projects (dRPC), under the Partnership for Advocacy and Family Health at Scale (PACF@Scale).