The Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) has been charged to consistently generate credible knowledge through quality research, specialized training and consultancy services to aid national development.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who gave the charge at a retreat organized by the institute, in Ogere, Ogun State on Monday, said it must ensure that its research outcomes have practical relevance to government policy decisions and development programmes.
He reminded participants that NISER was set up to be the premier think tank economic research Institute for Nigeria and therefore is expected to consistently generate credible knowledge through quality research, conduct specialized training and consultancy services while interacting with relevant segments of the society in the task of national development.
X-raying the Economic challenges of the country, the Minister reminded NISER that it has an important role to play in the actualization of core government programmes like the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which aims to stop the continuing decline of the country’s economic fortunes, reverse the downward spiral of the economy and move Nigeria out of recession.
The Minister said the ERGP promises a rapidly growing economy with diversified sources of growth, increased opportunities and a socially inclusive economy that reduces poverty and creates jobs.
While noting that the implementation of the policy initiatives outlined in the ERGP have started yielding results as evident in the economy exiting recession in the second quarter of 2017, he pointed out that a lot remains to be done to sustain the tempo of recovery, by rapidly growing the economy.
To assist in the growth, the Minister said NISER’s research must be demand-driven and guided by the objectives of the plan. This could be done by deepening its collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and ensuring that its research activities relates with the planning focus of the Ministry and development needs of government.
He pointed out that no nation can truly attain great heights without well-grounded research findings that can guide policymakers in their decision making. “The basis of any knowledge society is constant innovation and new discoveries, which can only come through sound research. There is a close connection between the utilization of research outcomes and the pace of a nation’s socio-economic development,” he added.
Commending the new Director General, Dr Folarin Gbadebo-Smith for organisng the retreat, the Minister said it was important that from time to time an organization engages in self-examination to confirm it is still on track in the execution of its mandate, charging participants to rededicate themselves to fulfilling the mandate of the institute. The last time NISER had a self-examination retreat was in 2011.
The Minister who inspected facilities at the institute in Ibadan on Sunday assured that the Ministry is willing to support the institute to deliver on its mandate; while also charging the management to explore more innovative ways of funding research, including the possibility of leveraging on private sector sources and collaboration with other research institutes and agencies within and outside the country, as subventions from government can never be enough to run NISER to world standards.
The Director General, Dr Gbadebo-Smith, explained that the objective of the retreat is to critically discuss how to reposition and reinvigorate NISER for effective delivery of its mandate.
He pledged the readiness of the management to rededicate themselves to fulfilling the mandate of the institution, to raise the visibility and impact of their work, to secure more private sector funding for the Institute and to provide more useful and relevant research to help Nigeria build a more knowledge based economy.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com