The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) has inaugurated its larger think tank team called the Public Policy Group, in a brief ceremony at its headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State recently.
The ISGPP is an independent organisation devoted to research and executive education in support of governance and policy work in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. It serves as an innovative platform for community engagement on issues of governance, democracy and development, according to a release.
It therefore seeks to address skills deficits and advance knowledge required for transforming public institutions through the rethinking of the governance space, as catalysts for getting government to work better than they currently do for inclusive development and democracy.
As an independent think tank, the ISGPP is run by a management team of experts, representing a critical mass of intellectuals, scholars, scientists, professionals and industrialists under the guidance provided by an international Governing Board responsible for the overall policies and direction of development of the School.
Headed by a brilliant academic and a prominent player in the policy environment of Nigeria, Emeritus Prof. AdemolaOyejide of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, the public policy group (PPG) is a strong and multidisciplinary core of the ISGPP comprising distinguished intellectuals and highly experienced professionals from various academic fields and vocations -public service, industry, academia, private sector, ICT, security, gender, communication/media, governance, local government, leadership studies, spirituality/religion, demography, foreign affairs, education, etc.
The ISGPP seeks to leverage on the wealth of knowledge, experience and distinct progressive thinking of these resources persons in the pursuit of its strategic objective which is to get the Nigerian government to work better than it is presently doing for democratic governance and development. From the work of the group, the ISGPP hopes to jumpstart critical policy dialogue on various issues of national importance.
The membership of the PPG range across the brightest in the academia, public service, ICT, media and communication, private sector, industry, etc.: Prof. John Ayoade (Emeritus Professor of political science, University of Ibadan), Amb. Ayo Olukanni (Nigeria’s ambassador to Australia), Prof. Isaac Olawale Albert (pioneer director of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan), Mr Felix Adenaike (ace journalist and communication consultant), Prof. PaiObanya (distinguished professor of education), Engr. John Ayodele (engineering management consultant), OdiaOfeimun (the Nigerian Poet), Prof. AlabaOgunsanwo (professor of international relations and strategic studies), Prof. Ayo Olukotun (professor of political science and prominent newspaper columnist), Prof. Mike Adeyeye (professor of local government studies), Dr. FunkeFayehun (expert in demographics and social statistics), Mr. Edmund Obilo (radio journalist and host of Splash FM flagship programme – Voices, Economic Searchlight & Bull’s Eye), Amb. (Dr.) YemiFarounbi (broadcaster and politician), Chief BayoOyero (former permanent secretary and community mobiliser).
Others include Mr. EzeOnyekpere (expert in development law, fiscal governance and constitutional reforms), Dr. Wumi Akin-Onigbinde (gender and elections expert), Dr BabatundeOyedeji (former permanent secretary and academic), Prof. Adeola Adenikinju (professor of energy economics), Prof. CBN Ogbogbo (legal practitioner and professor of History), Prof. Femi Omololu (professor of political sociology and expert in social policy, planning and evaluation), Elder Ayo Ojebode (engineer and architect), Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola (chancellor, Lead City University and professor of Chemistry), MrKoladeMosuro (MD, Booksellers Limited), Prof. BayoOkunade (professor of political science and director of Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan), and Prof. M. K. Yahaya (professor of development communication).
There are also Prof. Oluwafunmilyo Para-Mallam (professor of gender and development), Prof. OladimejiSanni (professor of food science and technology), Dr Nathaniel Danjibo (expert in peace and conflict resolution, policy research and human security), Prof. Vincent Akinyosoye (expert in econometrics, quantitative policy research and data management), Prof. Clement Kolawole (professor of language education), Prof. OlawaleOgunkola (professor of economics and expert on trade policy research).
In his opening remark, the ISGPP Executive Vice Chairman, Dr TunjiOlaopa situated the ISGPP and the public policy group within the context of Nigeria’s experiment with democratic governance marked, unfortunately, by gross development deficit of unemployment, poverty, high crime rate, bad infrastructure, etc.
He expressed hoped that the ISGPP through the PPG would be able to intervene in Nigeria’s policy environment through “facilitating a creative response to the development predicament.”
Prof. Akin Mabogunje, CON, the chairman of ISGPP, recognised the daunting challenge before the PPG, but said he had no doubt as to the capacity of the Group to foster and promote “serious development in Nigeria.”
For instance, he pointed out one policy focus for the PPG: “the seeming dissonance between policy to stimulate the growth and expansion of the real economy through low interest rate policy and the prevailing policy of the Central Bank to concentrate on price stability and curbing inflation through persistent high interest rate.”
The chairman of the PPG, Prof. AdemolaOyejide outlined the mandate and programmes of the group. According to him, the PPG’s core objectives include research, communication, dialogue, education and advocacy all within the context of the policy architecture of the Nigerian state.