By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Executive Director, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) Professor Tade Aina at the weekend asked President Muhammadu Buhari to employ Nigerian social scientists in developing solutions to poverty, unemployment and insecurity in his second term.
Professor Aina stated this in Ibadan while delivering the postgraduate college, University of Ibadan Interdisciplinary discourse 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”
He maintained that 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.
“The social scientists 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”, he said.
Professor Aina said “it is unfortunate that knowledge is no longer an important factor in policy formulation in Nigeria,” saying social scientists like Professor Akin Mabogunje, Pius Okigbo, Bolaji Akinyemi, and Ibrahim Gambari played vital roles in developing the first three national development plans for the country in the 60s.
“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. They serve ends”
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka said the Nigerian society needs to invest in knowledge generation, research and knowledge transmission to solve her problems.
The Vice Chancellor lamented that Nigeria’s universities face more problems that make them not to effectively compete as world class universities adding that the Nigerian society seems to prefer mediocrity to meritocracy, saying, “in a situation where policy makers are poorly informed, implementors ill-equipped or lack capacity for critical thinking, citizens will continue to live in darkness. Policy somersault is the effect of how a people can consistently be on the wrong track and still be seeking redemption.”