Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:03 pm
The Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, UI, Professor Idowu Olayinka has urged the Nigerian government to invest in knowledge generation, knowledge transmission and research to solve the nation’s problems, adding that problem solving researches give birth to solution-driven policies.
Olayinka, who stated this at the Institution’s Postgraduate College Interdisciplinary lecture delivered by the Executive Director of Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, PASGR, Professor Tade Aina, lamented the myriad of problems Nigeria’s universities are facing due to poor funding.
According to him, there is no poorly funded university that can ever compete as world Class University, adding that the Nigerian society seems to prefer mediocrity to meritocracy.
He said, “In a situation where policy makers are poorly informed, implementer ill-equipped or lack capacity for critical thinking, citizens will continue to live in darkness. Policy summersault is the effect of how a people can consistently be on the wrong track and still be seeking redemption”.
In his lecture entitled “The Social Sciences And The Public Policy In Nigeria In The Era Of The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Relevance And Potential For Social Transformation”, Professor Aina advised President Muhammadu Buhari to employ Nigerian social scientists in developing solutions to poverty, unemployment and insecurity in his second term.
According to him, the social scientists are the most prepared for studying and understanding problems of unemployment, population crisis, security and human rights challenges and other problems facing the country to formulate public policy that can address them.
While noting that it is unfortunate that knowledge is no longer an important factor in policy formulation in Nigeria, Professor Aina recalled the roles played by social scientists like Professors Akin Mabogunje, Pius Okigbo, Bolaji Akinyemi, and Ibrahim Gambari in developing the first three national development plans for the country in the 60s.
He said, “The social sciences are perhaps the most prepared for studying and understanding these problems and reconfiguration of public policy, individual and collective wellbeing. An active, alert and adaptive social science community is key to providing valid evidence, understanding and making sense of policy options and political directions in such contexts. Policies emerges from the mobilisation of vested interest particularly policies about setting agendas to determine the direction of society, political system and the direction of political economies”.