Brief on the Directorate of Research

INTRODUCTION

          In accordance with Section 3(2) (e) of the 1979 Decree No. 20 (now known as Act 20 CAP 626 Laws of the Federation 1990) that established the National Institute, the Directorate of Research is mandated interalia to,

Organize and carry out, on an inter-disciplinary basis in intellectual support of those charged with making and implementing policy for Nigeria, in-depth research into the social, economic, political, security, scientific, cultural and other problems facing the country, and to formulate and present, in usable form, the available options for their solution.

          The Act Stresses the crucial importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social issues and challenges in the context of an ever-changing, yet increasingly interactive global arena. The Act further underscores the need for research to be conducted in-depth.- i.e. in a painstaking and thorough manner in order to promote evidence-based policy planning. This implies that whatever the organisational structure in place, the Research Directorate must be staffed and equipped with top quality researchers and up-to-date facilities to produce cutting edge research output through inter-unit/departmental collaboration on all issue-areas and projects. However, the Directorate is currently operating far below capacity due in inadequate funding, a full complement of requisite staff and sun-standard facilities and general work environment.

          The Directorate’s projections and strategic objectives are driven by the vision and Mission of the National Institute, where both long and short-range research works are being carried out. The long-rang research is concerned with inquiry into broad strategic areas of national life with a view to articulating long-term policy options for Nigeria’s development while the short range research consists of brainstorming sessions, seminars and workshops on topical national issues with a view to providing the government with quick-action policy options.

Current Structure of the Directorate of Research

          The Directorate of Research is headed by a Director, who is responsible to the Director-General for coordinating the Research Staff and the research projects and programmes of the National Institute and also the collation and publication of research findings.

          The various research projects conducted by the Directorate are policy-oriented in the areas of social, economic, political, security, technological, scientific and cultural and all other sectors that constitute challenges to the country.

          United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) The Political Party Leaderships and Policy Development Centre is conceived as a capacity building and resource Centre for political parties to strengthen their capacity for policy dialogue, conflict management, media outreach and democratic initiatives of party leadership with the overall goal of enhancing the democratic quality of political process. In four months, the Centre has been able to train 222 and 220 officials of Political Parties in the country at the national and state levels respectively. The officials include; Chairmen, Secretaries, Treasurers, Financial Secretaries, Women Leader, Legal Advisers, and Publicity Secretaries, Youth Leaders and lastly the Organising Secretaries.

          Research outcomes from the Directorate are presented in usable forms with practical options for the government and people of Nigeria so as to ensure the survival, viability and well-being of the National as a united entity.

          In addition to the Director of Research the Research Directorate currently has permanent academic staff made up of five Professors, one Associate Professor and four Senior Fellows in various disciplines. The Directorate has also engaged the services of three Professors and a Senior Fellow as Visiting Scholars to beef up the staff requirement of the Directorate.

          The Research Directorate is structured into Seven Departments. The seven departments and their ongoing research projects are listed in the Table below:

 

S/N

DEPARTMENT

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECT

1

Political and Social Studies

Policing Nigeria in the 21st Century: Issues and Challenges

2

Economics and Management Studies

Oil Sector Reforms in Nigeria: Policy Issues and Challenges

3

Culture, Language and Media Studies

Getting the Right Policy Trust for the Effective Implementation of Freedom of Information Law: Challenges and Prospects

4

Security and Strategic Studies

Combating the Problem of Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria

5

Science and Technology

National Integrated Power Projects (NIPSSs) for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria: an Assessment

6

International Studies

Combating the Challenges of Human Trafficking Nigeria

7

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Political Party Leadership and policy Development Training Centre

Activities of the Directorate
Routine Academic Activities:

          For the 2013, the directorate as usual was engaged in policy and strategic research of the national institute, as listed above. In addition, individual Research Fellows conduct policy research in their respective areas which is disseminated through journal articles monographs or presented in national or international conferences. Some of their findings are also included in the policy inputs submitted to Government by the Institute. Furthermore, both the director and Senior Fellows actively participated as resource persons, supervisors and internal examiners of Participants’ research projects and accompanied the participants as research experts for the local, African and foreign study tours.

Establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Political Parties Studies at NIPSS

           In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), NIPSS established the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Center, which was launched in June 2013. The Centrre offers specialized traing courses to members and leaders of Political Parties and their technocrats with a view to strengthening Nigeria’s political party system, thereby also consolidating democracy in Nigeria. With time, other African countries will be invited to participate in the courses. The Centre is currently housed in the Directorate of Research.

 NIPSS Journal

          The Directorate has reactivated the NIPSS Journal, Nigerian Journal of Policy and Strategy. Currently, the volume 16, No. 1 (December, 2010) is in circulation and the Volume 17, No. 1 and 2 have also been released. This is to enhance dissemination of research findings and academic activities.

 Monographs

          The NIPSS Monograph Series have also been reactivated. Four issues of the Monographs were published in 2012-2013.

 Distinguished Annual Lecture

          The Annual National Lecture is anchored by the Directorate as the high point of activities leading to the end of the Senior Executive Course at the Institute. The lecture is usually delivered by a highly reputable scholar or statesman form within or outside the county. The 2013 distinguished Annual Lecture was delivered by Prof. Abdullahi Mahadi, OON, former vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University and current Vice Chancellor of Gombe State University on the theme: Institutional Frameworks for the Transformation Agenda in Nigeria.

 Eminent Person and Expert Group Meeting

          In 2012 the Directorate collaborated with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programm (NSPR) in organizing a 3-day Eminent and Expert Group Meeting (EEGM) on Insurgencies in Nigeria. The Meeting was well attended and elicited strategic policy recommendations for Federal Government, Security Agencies and other Stakeholders in Nigeria.

          The National Institute Management has now decided that the EEGM would become an annual event in the Institute. The theme of the last EEGM is “Transforming the Security Sector in Nigeria: Towards a Comprehensive National Security Strategy” and was held from 3rd to 5th December, 2013, while that of 2014 held on 2nd-5th November and the theme was “Elections and Security in Nigeria: Towards an Effective National Strategy”.

 Conclusion

          The Research Directorate has continued to strive to fulfill its Mandate, despite constraints of funding and logistics. It conducts research not just as academic exercise but with the goal of influencing positive policies for the development of our dear nation.