Brief on the Directorate of Research

 Speech of His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbojo, GCON, Vice President

Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Inauguration Ceremony of the senior

Executive Course (SEC) NO.38, 2016 of the National Institute for policy and

Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, on Friday 26th of February, 2016

Protocol

  1. I am very delighted to be at the inauguration of yet another Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru. This inauguration has become important in our calendar because executive training at the strategic level plays a pivotal role in the life of every nation. It is even more crucial at this period in our history when we are faced with a variety of challenges caused by years of mismanagement of the national resources, which has, among other things, worsened the poverty situation in Nigeria. And the poverty questions the theme for your course.
  2. Despite its vast natural endowment, Nigeria remains one of the poorest countries in the world and is ranked as the third among countries with the highest population of people living in abject poverty in the world. This is in spite of the numerous institutional mechanisms for poverty reduction and inclusive development which previous governments are said to have put in place. Needless to say, Nigeria must rise to challenge of the moment in a focused and determined way to arrest and reverse the situation by sharpening of the policy development and implementation skills of the top echelon of its public and private sectors.
  3. It is against that backdrop and in the quest for strong actors and structures to implement programmes to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of the poor that the Presidents, Commander-in-chief challenged participants of Senior Executive Course 38, to critically examine the important theme of “Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms for Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria”. Mr. President chose this theme to enable government tackle the prevailing poverty rate in the country which has now reached an unprecedented and alarming 61 percent. It ranks 152 out of 183 countries in the Human Development Index assessment for 2014, this is quite worrisome and requires urgent intervention; and that is why one of the cardinal objectives of the inclusive development that will take marginalized and vulnerable segments of our society out of poverty in the shortest possible time.
  4. And this is ultimately what we hope you- the members of course 38 – will help the government do. As participants of this course, your selection has been deliberately made to cut across disciplines and the Senor Leadership echelons of our public and private sectors. It is necessary to have such a mixed- grill of participants because of the imperative of grooming change agents as leaders in all critical sectors of the society and economy.
  5. The immediate past participants of course 37 dealt with the theme “Repositioning Nigeria’s Educational System for Global Competitiveness”. I am happy to note that they performed very well, and government is currently considering implanting some of the recommendations of their reports. I therefore dare you to surpass their record.
  6. I hope that during your stay here, you will be able to carry out extensive and detailed research on the challenges confronting public institutions saddled with responsibility for implementing poverty reduction and inclusive development programmes in our nation. I hope your findings and recommendations will in addition show government how to strengthen such institutions. On the whole, your recommendations should be geared towards accelerating our quest for sustainable national development and improving the living standards of our people. Thus, in course of your study, you will not only seek to sharpen your intellect, analytic skills, and conceptual capabilities, but also try to examine issues affecting our country, such as corruption and security challenges, which have contributed in entrenching mass poverty in the land; and then give practicable recommendations and implantations strategies to tackle and overcome them both in the short and long term.
  7. Therefore, the challenge before the participants of Senior Executive Course 38, 2016 is to act as dispassionate researchers, patriotic ambassadors and committed agents of Change. We trust that your findings and recommendations will be consistent high quality, and the implementation Strategies you suggest will be realistic, practical and cost effective.
  8. Over the years, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies has continued to make positive impact in our national life through providing government with qualitative advice and skilled personnel. The nation is grateful. I am happy to tell you that Mr. President and his cabinet have high regards for the National Institute; and as participants, you must rise to the occasion by working diligently to ensure that confidence of the nation in you is not misplaced. If you do that, you will not only have justified the vision of the founding fathers of NIPSS, but you will have done your part in the effort to achieve it.
  9. Ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the management, staff and the entire National Institute community for being focused on the Institute’s mandate in spite of its many challenges, including limited funding. As the Supervising Authority of the Institute, vested with the responsibility for its success and sustainability, I charge you to look into ways of ensuring that the Institute not only maintains high standard, but improves on its enviable position as our premier policy institution with the requisite quality and professionalism.
  10. To our dear participants, I must state that the task before you is enormous, the challenges are daunting and the expectations are high. However, it is my hope that with the caliber of participants assembled for course 38, the aspirations of the Founding Fathers of the Institute will continue to be realized. While congratulating you on your nominations, let me remind you that government places a high premium on the work of the institute and the standards set by your predecessors. I therefore urge you to do your best to safeguard this. I wish you every success in this great endeavor.
  11. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honor and privilege to formally inaugurate the Senior Executive Course No. 38, 2016 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies to the glory of God and for the advancement of our beloved nation and the people in it.

Thank you very much and may God bless you all.