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Absence of DG threatens service delivery at NIPSS

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Prof. Tijjani Bande, Former DG NIPSS

The non-appointment of a substantive Director General for the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) is threatening its relevance in the country’s policy formulation equation.

A former Director of Research at the Institute, Prof. Ogoh Alubo, who stated this recently in Abuja at the Independent Day rally organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the non-appointment of a Director General for the institute might erode its relevance in national discourse.

He said NIPSS had operated without a chief executive after the expiration of the last Director General, Prof. Tijjani Bande over two years ago.

“There are many things that this government has left undone since it assumed office more than years ago. In the history of NIPSS, there has never been a power vacuum. The last substantive DG was Prof Tijjani Bande.

“What is difficult in appointing a Director General? In spite of NIPSS reporting directly to the Vice President’s office, a substantive Director General has not been appointed for more than two years. The civil rule says acting period is within six months,” he said.

Prof Alubo pointed out that most works of NIPSS have become mere rituals to the extent that they no longer attract national and developmental appeal, saying, “graduates always make presentations to the President of the country on a theme they chose for a particular year.

“I have not heard that government extends an invitation to the institute to work together in any area of study. I think that the presentation was just for the ceremony. I say this because NIPSS has been doing this for 38 years and nothing has happened.”

While refraining from making a categorical statement on whether the institute has lost its relevance, 39 after its establishment, Alubo, who is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Jos, argued that although the institute was established to proffer effective policies, the aim has not been achieved so far.

“Without grassroots support, one wonders who the attendees truly represent. NIPSS at conception was meant to guide Nigeria in several areas especially in policy formulation and a substitute for foreign training institutions. But unfortunately, policies are made and NIPSS is not involved. Important decisions are made and NIPSS is also not involved,” he added.

Prof Alubo insisted that the only thing that NIPSS does now is what is referred to as the “Senior Executive Course,’ which is largely regarded as a stepping stone to attendees’ last promotion before retirement, saying, “in terms of policy think tank, I don’t think that is happening presently.”



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