December 4, 2022

NIPSS: Buhari assures of timely implementation of report

…Osinbajo calls for LG autonomy, State Police

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured graduands of the Senior Executive Course 44 at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS that the findings and recommendations contained in their recently submitted report would be attended to and applied by his government for the good of the country.

SEC 44, 2022 worked on the theme: Strengthening local governance in Nigeria: Challenges, options, and opportunities.

The President challenged the National Institute to strive to be or even surpass the best think-tank amongst policy institutions in the world as his administration would continue to give the Institute the needed support to deliver on its mandate.

This is as the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo while delivering a lecture at the Institute called for the devolution of powers to the local government to enable the third tier of government to be more responsive to the people at the grassroots.

President Buhari gave the assurance at the weekend during the graduation ceremony of the SEC 44 where he was the special guest of honour while Professor Osinbajo made his advocacy on Friday evening as the distinguished annual lecturer at the event which preceded the graduation ceremony. 

Buhari, represented by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo said, “… I am particularly impressed on this occasion of the graduation of the Senior Executive Course No 44, 2022, as it loudly attests to the consistency that NIPSS stands for… While I congratulate the Institute for being resiliently consistent, I also wish to remind the Institute of the other aspects of your mandate, which is to evolve ideas, new techniques, skills, policies, and new directions to guide policy at the highest level.

“I want to use this occasion to challenge the National Institute to strive to be or even surpass the best think-tank amongst policymakers in the world. We will do our best in supporting you to fulfill this charge and other mandates…

“The parley report presented depicts excellence both in content and quality, I assure you the findings and recommendations are of great importance they will be attended to and applied by my government and those after me for the good of our dear country.”

Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige in his paper titled: Sub-national local governance in Africa: Rethinking policies, frameworks and institutions noted that “… Governance, at any level, is a complex but practical endeavour with far-reaching implications for the lives and livelihood of the governed.

“As such, no group of people can afford a situation where governance decisions are taken without the benefit of evidence-based analyses and advice. That is why Think Tanks like the NIPSS remain the crucial nexus to quality research and effective decision-making, making your role within the body politic necessary for its survival…

“In a federation such as ours, with two fully functioning tiers of government and well-recognized administrative councils at the local level, the role of the subnational governments would always be a topic of public interest.

“However, while the role of State Governments and their scope of authority appear very well appreciated, local governments remain, in my view, quite undervalued, needing more attention from all of us, better funding, better and higher quality of leadership. As we speak, a bill for Local Government autonomy is striving hard to pass the threshold of 24 votes required from the 36 State Houses of Assembly, a key milestone towards its passage into law… “

He called for the decentralization of the Police saying, “… The proposals for State policing before the National Assembly ought therefore to be attended to with renewed urgency. Nigeria is too vast to be effectively policed from the centre…

“We cannot,, therefore continue to deploy swaths of strangers into relatively unfamiliar terrains and expect them to police effectively. There is almost no federating system in the world that keeps a sensitive issue like policing exclusively at the centre… It is therefore imperative to let States and Local Governments be the first line in policing and protecting their communities…”

The Emir of Kano, Alh Aminu Bayero who was Chairman of the event asked that NIPSS collaborate with the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs to draw up a standard foreign policy for Nigeria.

The Director General of the Institute, Professor Ayo Omotayo commended the support from all stakeholders and charged the 89 graduands to continue to make positive impacts in society.