Vice President Kashim Shettima, says President Bola Tinubu’s administration will reposition the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, for enhanced quality policy advice to the government.
Shettima stated this on Tuesday when he granted audience to the management of the institute, led by its Director-General (DG), Prof. Ayo Omotayo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said it has become pertinent for government to reposition NIPSS, given the very crucial and indispensable role the institute plays in shaping and retooling government’s policies.
He emphasised that the Federal government would make use of the beautiful recommendations made by the institute.
“We really need to recalibrate the system and see to it that all the beautiful policy recommendations by NIPSS are brought into reality, because the world is changing and the world is gradually becoming knowledge-driven.
“NIPSS is a policy think-tank for the government just as we have its equivalent in other parts of the world such as the Global Policy Institute, the Chatham House, the Adam Smith Institute, the Royal United Institute for Defence Studies in Russia, and the Hopkins Institute in the United States of America.”
Shettima cautioned Africa against missing the chance to fill the gap in a knowledge-driven world as the continent did during the agriculture and industrial revolutions.
“We missed the agricultural age; Africa missed the industrial age. We are now in the knowledge-driven age.
“When others are talking about artificial intelligence, of bio-technology, of internet things, we are busy dwelling on farmer-herders clash and things that we ought to have overcome decades ago.”
He urged the management of the institute to make a formal presentation of the executive summaries of all its policy recommendations to the government.
“Tinubu is determined to reset the national agenda. He has the courage to take far-reaching decisions. As much as possible, we will support you not to compromise on your quality, and not to compromise on your standard.
“These are to ensure that you should not be a dumping ground for frustrated public officers because, at a point in time, that was what NIPSS degenerated into.
“If somebody is going to be punished then he is sent to NIPSS for a year. Somebody with such a mindset can hardly absorb what you are going to teach. So, this time around, as much as possible, we will minimise political patronage.”
He said that government would send credible people within the required age bracket, within the required professional cadre, so that whatever experiences and exposure they gain can be translated into the governance structure.”
Earlier, the DG said his management team came to brief the vice president on the operations of the institute.
He said that the organisation was established in 1979 to advice government on several policy directions and train high profile policy makers in the country.
“There is no problem in the country that NIPSS has no solution to. NIPSS supports the Presidency in terms of policy. It deals with all sectors of the economy.”
Omotayo said that the vice president oversees the administration of NIPSS, approves the nominees to be trained and approves the course of study for the session.