NIPSS Set To Graduate 67 SEC 38 Participants 

nipss, SEC 38The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, kuru, Jos North Central Nigeria, is set to graduate 67 participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC 38).

Briefing journalists on the activities of the institute towards the graduation ceremony, Acting Director General Of The Institute, Mr Jonathan Juma, said President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.

The course which commenced in March 2016, was themed: “Strengthening Institutional Mechanism for Poverty reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria”, with participants embarking on study tours of states within the country and outside the country.

Tunisia, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and Ethiopia were some of the countries visited by participants, while the international tours included India, Poland, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Romania and Thailand.

Also, participants of the SEC 38 course, had a presidential parley with the President, where paper presentations were done as well as recommendations presented to the him, on the theme of the course.

Although a joyous occasion, a tragic event occurred in which one of the participants from Niger state unfortunately died a day to the graduation ceremony.

He will however still be awarded the member of national institute posthumously.

Good Governance Identified As Panacea To Poverty Reduction

Good Governance, Poverty ReductionA committed world of good governance at the federal, state and local government levels, have been identified as a panacea towards poverty reduction in Nigeria.

This is the submission of the Director- General, West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management, Professor Akpan Ekpo, at the distinguished annual lecture for participants at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

He noted that the absence of committed leadership in the country is a great concern, while political will is both a necessary and sufficient condition for institutional mechanisms for poverty reduction.

The renowned economist stated that, “a committed world of good governance can reduce global poverty to the barest minimum.

“The solution does not lie within the frameworks but within concrete action that portrays the exercise of good governance at the federal state and local government levels.

“In the absence of good governance, no nation can effectively design and implement sustainable poverty reduction programmes.”

He however suggested that the way forward is for government to formulate and implement an economic blue-print that stresses sustained growth and inclusive development with specific strategies and programmes targeted at the poor.

“This must be accompanied with a robust monitoring and evaluation framework,” he said.

Reflecting on the complexity of the issue of poverty and its alleviation, Professor Ekpo posited that all hands must be on deck with non-governmental organisations, complementing government efforts.

“Globalization of society is not helping matters in this regard. It is also necessary for civil society and the private business communities to join efforts with those of government, more than ever before, to contribute to poverty alleviation in ways that reflect their interests and capabilities because utilizing non-governmental channels would help broaden the scope of government contributions to poverty reduction.

“In this regard, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should focus not only on individual projects, but also engage in more general analysis and proposals to government for promoting workable approaches to poverty reduction,” Ekpo added.

Primary Health Care: Inadequate Funding Identified As Major Challenge

Primary Health care, inadequate funding, challenges Participants at a workshop for senior civil servants in Kuru, Plateau State have identified inadequate funding as one of the major challenges facing primary health care delivery in the state.

Among other limitations identified were lack of clear cut policies, as well as over-concentration on secondary and tertiary health care.

The workshop which was to discuss efficient health budgeting for the 2017 Appropriation Bill, had over 50 participants comprising of senior civil servants in the public as well as the organised private sector, and the participants urged the government to prioritize the health sector during budgeting.

They gathered at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, North Central Nigeria.

Sharing the experience of Ghana in budgeting for health in the current economic situation, a representative of the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority, Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, believes that primary health care systems remain the closest to the public in the preventive and curative treatment.

The discussions were designed to provide participants with essential knowledge for effective health sector budgeting.

Several issues were tackled, ranging from budgeting in the era of recession, an overview of the 2016 budget, innovative financing sources for primary health care funding and making optimal use of donor funds.

Apex Bank Governor Says Diversification Is Way Out Of Economy Downturn

Godwin-EmefieleNigerians have been asked to refocus the nation’s priorities by diversifying the economy into other areas such as agriculture, mineral resources and tourism among others rather than crude oil as a way of repositioning the dwindling economy.

The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in his lecture at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies on Friday, told participants that the impetus to strengthen institutional mechanism for poverty reduction and inclusive development could only be achieved with citizen’s reorientation.

Nigerians must depend less on foreign goods and look inward rather than being an importing nation, he stressed.

Mr Emefiele was the guest lecturer at the Senior Executive Course organised for 38 participants at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, Plateau State.

He addressed the participants on different issues bordering on the economic situation that has been bothering Nigerians especially on the role of the apex bank in finding solutions to the economy that has glided into recession.

Looking at the dilemma of policy making amidst complicated and competing choices in revamping the economy, the Central Bank Governor did not mince words while speaking on the title, ‘managing monetary policy in turbulent times’.

He called for diversification of the economy away from crude oil to other sectors, including agriculture which was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of the black gold.

Attracting investors into the country, as explained by the banker, is the introduction of the flexible exchange rate which is to protect the foreign reserve and act as a measure to stabilise the economy.

With the Central Bank Governor’s conviction that diversifying the economy from overdependence on crude oil into other areas, particularly agriculture, is the way out of recession, the impetus to achieve this objective should be vigorously and diligently applied and monitored so that the dividends will be enjoyed by Nigerians.

Research Institutes’ Workers Begin Warning Strike

Research and Allied Institutions, JORAISU, StrikeThe Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) in Nigeria has commenced a one-week warning strike.

The leadership of JORAISU had directed all its members across the states to embark on the industrial action, to protest what they considered the Federal Government’s lack of commitment to meeting long standing demands of the unions.

The strike was seen to have taken effect in several research institutions in Jos, the Plateau State’s capital in Nigeria’s north-central region.

At the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC), the gate was under lock and key as management and junior staff of the centre were denied entry into their offices.

The Director General of the NMDC, Professor Ibrahim Madugu, was among those that were deprived access to the centre.

Although he is not a member of the union, he expressed concern that the neglect of the research sector might affect Nigeria’s progress.

The Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Mr Ucheji Nwancho, said the cries of the unions had fallen on deaf ears for a long time.

At the National Veterinary Research Institute in another location in the state, only residents and other institutions sharing the complex were allowed in the premises.

The union at the institute expressed worry that they have not had a substantive director since October 2015.

The leadership at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies explained that they received the directive to commence the warning strike a bit late, necessitating a formal kick-off.

However, the acting Director General of the policy institute, Mr Jonathan Mela, noted that the industrial action should not disturb an ongoing senior executive course.

Other members of the unions and some of those in management believed that money must be put into research if Nigeria would stand shoulder to shoulder with developed nations.

Kwara To Inject Two Billion Naira To Fight Poverty

Kwara-PovertyKwara State government is to inject about two billion Naira into its micro credit scheme in the next three years with a view to alleviating poverty in the state.

The State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, disclosed this on Thursday when the participants of the ‘Senior Executive Course 38’ of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, paid him a courtesy visit.

Maintaining that youths and women would be prioritised in the scheme, the governor also revealed his intention to generate 20,000 agro-related jobs annually, in order to create a successor-generation of commercial farmers.

Describing poverty as a universal issue resulting from a state of short or long term deprivation and insecurity in basic human needs, he restated that poverty reduction was top on the priority list of his government.

According to Governor Ahmed, “Today, many countries are faced with the challenge of poverty. Nigeria is not an exception.

“According to the 2015 Human Development Index, Nigeria ranks 152 out of 188 countries in 2014. Thus, it has become imperative we find ways of ameliorating this scourge.

“Consequently, one of the cardinal objectives of this administration is to improve the lives of our people in tangible ways.

“In our mission towards the reduction of poverty in the state, we have identified agriculture as one of the keys to economic prosperity”, he said.

In an earlier remark, the team leader of the participants, Professor Celestine Bassey, who was represented by Brigadier General Daniel Chinoko, said that they were mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari to carry out a study on a theme: “Strengthening Institutional Mechanism for Poverty Reduction and Inclusiveness Development”.

Buhari Vows To End Boko Haram Activities

BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has reiterated that Boko Haram terrorism and their ideology, would soon be defeated and consigned to history, as security agents continue to pummel the insurgents in the north eastern part of the nation.

The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the graduation of participants at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), called on persons or groups who have grievances or dissatisfaction, to pursue their cause through democratic means.

Sixty-three participants, drawn from every sector of the society, graduated at the Senior Executive Course 37 of the institute after 10 months of research work, including study tours and receiving numerous lectures from scholars and experts on variety of subjects.

The President assured Nigerians that the war against terrorism was non-negotiable, and that the nation needed to build the civic capacity to defeat false and dangerous premises and assumptions of violent extremism.

Commending the participants for a thorough research on the theme; ‘Repositioning Nigeria’s Educational System For Global Competitiveness’, the President observed that the education system in Nigeria was in a difficult situation that required adequate attention.

The Institute, since inception, has produced over one thousand top level policy and strategy experts that are making impact on national development from various sectors which include; the military, Police, academics, organised private sector, as well as other professional groups.

Jonathan charges NIPPS on policies to revamp refineries

President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) to come up with recommendations and policy direction on how to get the nation’s refineries to be fully operational.

The President gave the charge following recommendations presented by the Course 34 participants of the institute, on a research theme: Resource Diversification for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria.

President Jonathan had on February 28 at the inauguration of the course, told the participants to join in rescuing the nation from the dangerous stronghold of a mono economy and come up with needful policy recommendations.

For ten months the participants worked on the theme and on Thursday, they made their recommendations known to the President.

The participants observed that, although the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration is commendable, they warned that the Nigerian economy is still over dependent on the export of crude oil and natural gas.

The presentation of their recommendation was made by four of the participants, led by the Monitor-General of the executive Course 34, Group Captain Clement Ogbeche.

They identified issues with the nation’s agriculture, power, human resources, education, solid minerals, infrastructure, petroleum and energy sectors.

In the petroleum sector, they compared Nigeria to Canada, a country which they claim has all its 16 refineries working while Nigeria struggles to get only four refineries working at full capacity.

The President, in his response, told them that the deregulation policy, which many had criticised was designed to attract the private sector to the economy and this he noted, would enable the construction of new refineries in the country.

He wondered why the institute (NIPPS) was not bold enough to recommend what the government should do to bring a turn around to the oil and gas sector to the advantage of Nigerians.

He noted that NIPPS is a policy formation centre for bureaucrats, private sector leaders, army officers and medium rank and senior civil servants which is aimed at conducting research and reflection for a better Nigeria.

The president used the opportunity to instruct the Ministry of Education to give a grant of N50million to the Plateau state based institute, to enable them tackle some of the administrative issues bothering the institute.

The Director-General of the institute, Prof Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, had earlier called for assistance with the institute which he claimed is grappling with a number of infrastructural challenges.