By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The need for deepening the research capacities of Nigerians and young researchers has been identified as a veritable instrument in the provision of germane solutions and policies that will tackle the diverse development challenges facing the country.
This view was expressed by the Chairman of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) think-tank, the Public Policy Group; Professor Ademola Oyejide, at the inauguration of the ISGPP Junior Research Fellowship in Ibadan.
Professor Oyejide pointed out that research serves as a bridge between realities and policies, emphasisng that researchers do not just observe occurrences but study and interrogate such in order to proffer implementable solutions that could be adopted as policies by the government.
Also, the Executive Vice Chairman of ISGPP, Professor Tunji Olaopa, said the inauguration of the Junior Research Fellowship was a strategic fulfillment of a part of the think-tank operations of the school.
He noted that, “The induction of these Junior Research Fellows would deepen the effectiveness and relevance of the Public Policy Group as these young men and women who are expected to add value to the group’s work will be ushered into the world of opportunities of researchers that will shape policies and governance, not only in Nigeria but Africa at large.
In her remarks, the Director of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP)/Institute for Policy Research and Innovation (IPRI), Dr Louisa Andah, challenged the inducted Junior Research Fellows to employ the instruments of research in re-ordering the society by proffering workable solutions to the complex socio-cultural challenges in the country.
During his presentation, the ISGPP’s Research and Programme Manager, Mr Tobechukwu Nneli, emphasised the school’s role as an independent think-tank which uses research and executive education as an instrument for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of public policy in Nigeria and other African countries.
He added that the Public Policy Group of the ISGPP helps to carry out this onerous task by designing and creating the framework for the implementation of specific programmes and activities based on research and actionable policy models.
Mr. Nneli noted that ISGPP designed the Junior Research Fellowship with the aim of raising the bar of academic inquiry and research in Nigeria, to build a network of young competent researchers for Nigeria, and to support early career researchers in the country through mentoring, capacity building and by providing access to resources.
He continued: “it is therefore expected that the programme will lead to the training of a new generation of young scholars with requisite competencies to research on governance issues in Nigeria and beyond.”
The 25 newly inducted ISGPP Junior Research Fellows will be grouped as research assistants within the different clusters of the Public Policy Group and are expected to be ambassadors of ISGPPs mantra of developing minds that will be able to lead, transform and discover.