Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 22 May 2018 | 1,403 times
African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage), a socio-economic and political analytical institution, has urged the academia to participate actively in policy formulation in order to accurately measure their impact on the people.
The Executive-Director of Afri-Heritage, Prof Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, made the call in an address at the: 2018 Train-the-Trainers Workshop on Econometrics for Policy Analysis” on Monday in Enugu.
The five-day workshop is being organized by the institution.
Okeke-Uzodike noted that due to the fact that the academia had left policy formulation and implementation solely in the hands of politicians, most policies are not objectively thought-out and implemented to impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of Nigerians.
He noted that the institution had set out to build a critical mass of intellectuals in various fields that would aggregate their thoughts and empirical research-based findings to bring policy solutions to most of the socio-economic challenges of the country.
According to him, insecurity, poverty to the extent of hunger and large migration of the nation’s intellectual capital (highly skilled professionals) to other countries remained most of the immediate problems of the country and it can be addressed through sound policies.
“There is a need to change the way accumulations of the country’s policies had negatively shaped our political-economy structure.
“Empirical evidence-based knowledge would greatly assist our leaders in making the right choices in terms of policy formulation and its implementation.
“X-ray why those policy choices should be made, whom interests it serves and why the policies should come into play in the first place.
“So, from clear intention of growing the economy and solving immediate challenges facing the country, the academia must not stay away but must get close to government and participate to ensure that there would be positive direction for the country,” he said.
On the workshop, he said that the trainers (lecturers) would be trained to influence government’s policy formulation in various levels with evidence-based empirical analysis to issues especially those bothering on socio-economic and political-economy.
“Having policies based on empirical and measurable outcomes will improve transparency and accountability in government as well as ensure that government funds are spent on positive and result-oriented outcomes.
“The voices of experts and intellectuals must be heard, respected and followed in policies so that we do not spend scarce resources on worthless policies and remain inconsistent in our action and focus,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Nathaniel Urama, Director of Research in the institution, noted that renowned authorities in empirical research and econometrics would take most of the lecture sessions.
“We are going to be very detailed so that the lecturers (the trainers) can have a lot to take back home to their institutions as well as train others so that within the course of the years we have a critical mass that would support policy formulation at every level of government,” Urama said.
It was gathered that Afri-Heritage is currently re-training 56 lecturers (mostly young lecturers) from institutions all over the country in the workshop. The workshop would run for five days, from May 21 to May 25.
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