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Support policy makers for national development, Osinbajo tasks think tanks

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Support policy makers for national development, Osinbajo tasks think tanks

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday called on Nigerian think tanks to support policy makers, and champion the right course toward providing workable solutions for national development.

 

Osinbajo gave the advice at a round-table on Strategic Think Tanks in Nigeria in Abuja.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme, organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), is entitled: “Re-positioning Think Tanks for Effective Engagement in Public Policy.”

 

It was aimed at having a robust recommendation toward a better society.

 

Osinbajo, who was represented on the occasion by Mr Akin Soetan, Special Technical Adviser to the Vice-President on Economic Matters, said that the position of think tanks was relevant to the development of any nation.

 

According to him, think tanks must enhance their relevance and provide workable solutions, by collaborating with policy makers.

 

“ The key issue is that the think tanks should be able to analyse and engage the policy makers and policy analysts, on the key areas of governance.

 

“ They should do this in their different specialisations; we can get what they need to do, to advance the country.

 

“ We need them to engage more than just the traditional government partners; but to also engage the public to monitor and evaluate, as long as their research findings are highly beneficial,’’ he said.

 

The vice-president, therefore, charged policy makers to adopt relevant decisions by the think tanks, and mainstream them into their activities, for the progress of the country.

 

Also, Prof. Habu Galadima, Director-General, NIPSS, in an address, said that the institute had over time, served as capacity extension of government, by opening up new perspectives of framing and analysing issues.

 

Galadima noted that the institute had contributed immensely to the development of the country, particularly by providing evidence-based research, to support policy and the development of the country.

 

He said it had also provided leadership to other think tanks, while also adopting the best brains in the country to discuss and exchange ideas on how to provide quality input into the decision-making process.

 

“The environment we live today is becoming more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, that challenges the imagination of think tanks all over the world.

 

“Think tank poses the ability to broker ideas, stimulate public debate and offer creative, yet practical solutions to tackle myriad problems.

 

“ They have the challenge of constantly mobilising their expertise and networks, to continuously get ideas into government agenda.

 

“Think tanks have evolved beyond mere research institutions into opinion creators, and constantly casting light on policy issues, analysing and measuring their impact and getting into policy,’’ he said.

 

Galadima, therefore, called for the re-positioning of the think tanks, to support government at all levels in decision-making process.

 

“The whole idea is to re-position all the think tanks, especially think tanks at the strategic level, to support government policy to help engage in policy making processes.

 

“And also to write evidence-based research, to support government in this period where we are experiencing changes in virtually every part of our lives.

 

“It has, therefore, become necessary for all strategic think tanks to re-position themselves, to provide innovative ways of dealing with many of the challenges we face currently,’’ he said.

 

Similarly, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, emphasised the need for think tanks to critically assess their roles in policy making.

 

Mustapha, who was represented at the event by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services, called on the think tanks to re-position themselves to chart a new course for the development of the country.

 

“In most developed countries, think tanks work closely with government to provide ideas; but in some developing countries, government remain sceptical, which affects economic policies that are created.

 

“Nigeria has realised the important role of the think tanks, but the issue remains the extent to which think tanks are utilised; because their roles are not optimally utilised.

 

Mustapha pledged the readiness of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to support the policy development process through the recommendations from the conference.

 

Dr Samsudeen Usman, Former Minister of Budget and National Planning, called on the government to appreciate, recognise and reward the think tanks faculty in the country.

 

NAN reports that the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) were created by law, to perform the role of think tanks.

 

Others are the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and NIPSS. (NAN)

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Niger Delta Youth Council Facilitates with Nigerians on the Occasion of World Youth Day

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…reflects on the state of the nation

…calls for youth friendly policies

The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a pressure group devoted to youth empowerment and development in the Niger Delta has facilitated with the federal government and Nigerian youths as the world marks International Youth Day, a day set aside to celebrate youths all over the world and reflect on the challenges they face and ways to surmount them.

In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Engr. Jator Abido, the group expressed optimism that this year’s World Youth Day will avail Nigerian youths and government and avenue to brainstorm and find lasting solutions bedeviling the Nigerian youth especially in the area of unemployment and perennial insecurity that has hindered economic activities in many parts of the country.

“Today is an important date sets aside to celebrate International Youth Day. The importance of this annual celebration according to the United Nation (UN) is to among other things raise voices against any injustice or discrimination and deprivation around the globe against the youth. We as a pressure group want to use this opportunity to call attention to the alarming rate of unemployment which has risen to 35% in the third quarter of 2022 as well as insecurity which has brought to a halt economic activities in most parts of the country. It is our hope that government will act fast to end insecurity and reverse the ugly trend of unemployment in the country”, the statement noted.

The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the group noted has far reaching implications on the future of Nigerian youths and if nothing is done about it, will endanger the mental and social capacity of youth, predisposing them to social crimes and agents of destabilization in the forth coming general elections

“The implication of this unwarranted strike is that for the past six months and counting, Nigerian youths have been idling away at home and the federal government has not considered the damage such failures portend. Not just that future leaders of Nigeria are idle but an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Criminal elements within the ruling class will quickly recruit and turn them to agents of destruction and crime as the 2023 general elections draw near. This must not be allowed to happen. The federal government must act fast to reverse this ticking time bomb from exploding” the statement urged.

The CSO equally charged the federal government to come out with policies that will encourage the participation of Nigerian youths in the downstream oil sector especially by actively using local artisans in line with local content policy of the federal government insisting that Nigerian youths especially those in the Niger Delta region have what it takes to actively transform the oil sector and end the sad phenomenon of exporting crude and importing refined products which is almost crumbling the economy.

“We are once again calling on the federal government on this occasion of International Youth Day to as a matter of national importance formulate policies which will make the local content law a more practical reality. Our youths are well skilled in oil exploration and even refining. Granting licenses to local artisans and modifying their technology will end the uneconomical policy of importing refined petroleum products at exorbitant rates at the expense of the naira. Such steps will also put an end to youth restiveness in the country and stimulate economic growth”, the statement added.

On the need to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Board, the CSO noted, it is long overdue and the federal government must use this occasion of the International Youth Day to respond to the yearnings of youths in the Niger Delta who are the first beneficiaries and sufferers of both good and bad policy choices in the region, arguing that, NDDC can not continue to run without a substantive Board.

“Mr. President Sir, we are calling on you to use your good office and cause the inauguration of the NDDC Board which was duly constituted but has since not being inaugurated because of the activities of saboteurs. This is not only unconstitutional but a slap on the faces of law abiding Niger Deltans who are looking forward to development massive in the region. Without a Board, corruption is rife in the Commission and the people who are supposed to be served are suffering because of the greed of a few politicians. If nothing is done to bring an end to this impunity, we’ll have no choice but to take up arms and fight for our rights”, the statement concluded.

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