Speaker Abbas seeks lawmakers’ inclusion in NIPSS training

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D, has called for the inclusion of members of the National Assembly in the training programmes at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Speaker Abbas stated that programmes offered by NIPSS should not be limited to only officials in the Executive arm of the government.

The Speaker made the call when the management of NIPSS, researchers and partners paid him a courtesy call in office on Tuesday.

NIPPS, located in Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, founded in 1979, is Nigeria’s think-tank and policy research institution, which has bureaucrats, private sector leaders, military officers, and medium-rank and senior civil servants in its alumni.

The Speaker said: “I want to request the DG to look at the National Assembly in your subsequent admissions because, with the kind of things that I saw for myself when I went to the (Presidential) Villa, I am sure that the National Assembly can also benefit a lot from NIPSS.

“I would want to see a situation where every year, an allocation of one or two slots would be made available to the National Assembly, to send its people to learn and share experiences.

“Experiences are not limited to the Executive; even the Legislature has a lot to share. By the time you blend the two – what the people from the Executive know and what the Legislators also know – I am sure that your subsequent programmes will be enriched. Please, take note of that.”

Speaker Abbas, who noted that the NIPSS was visiting his office for the first time since he came on board in June 2023, commended the institute for doing a good job.

“I want to also commend you and the Institute for all the good jobs you have been doing. We are indeed very proud of you. In your last visit to Mr President, I had the privilege of being there and I listened to your presentation. It is one of the best that I have ever heard from any academic institution. It was well-packed, it was well articulated and the message resonated well. I want to appeal to you to please continue to keep the flag flying.

“It is truly an institution that is giving a lot of inspiration and guidance to the government of this country,” the Speaker said.

Speaker Abbas also commended NIPSS for the official launch of its ‘Regional Citizenship Dialogue Programme for the Prevention and Response to the Unconstitutional Change of Governments in West Africa’ at a time when West Africa was particularly “in a state of turmoil.” He said: “What is happening to our dear sub-continent is really, very tragic.”

The Speaker also asked the DG of NIPSS to communicate the issues affecting the Institute to the House through the committee that oversights it. He assured the management of the willingness of the House to effect the proposed amendments to the NIPSS Act.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of the institute, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, who led the delegation, said the institute would like to acquire adjourning lands to its premises located at Kuru, Jos, to further secure the place.

He urged the House to intervene on that and other issues, especially with budgetary allocation to acquire land around the Institute for better security. This, he noted, was based on security advice obtained by the Institute.

The NIPSS DG also decried poor remuneration of workers, especially the academic staff, researchers and other experts.

He called on the House to revisit a bill seeking to amend the NIPSS Act, which he said was last amended in 2004. This he said, was in “pursuance of our mandate to ensure that we get Nigeria to a level where we can be proud of it.”

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