Worried by rising poverty level and other developmental ills that stem largely from faulty policies, African Heritage Institute (Afriheritage) has organized a one-week training for economics lecturers drawn from some Nigerian universities.
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the training held at the conference hall of the institute in Enugu, the executive-director, Professor Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, said the training was an annual event, adding that “insecurity, poverty and safety remain a big issue in our country”, as a result of poor analysis or poor implementation.
Professor Okeke-Uzodike noted: “World Bank’s assessment showed that more than 60 percent of our people are poor. It is the way our political economy is structured, the way leaders govern.”
He noted further that there was need to actually know government policies, for whom they were made and why they were made, lamenting that experts who were supposed to be instructors to the students in tertiary institutions sometimes ended up becoming consultants resulting in unproductive manpower.
“Policies introduced by politicians should be challenged and evaluated,” he said, urging the lecturers to share the knowledge they have acquired. According to him, many people acquire knowledge with the expectation that they will become consultants. Arguing that such mindset goes against academic training, he said: “You should use what you gathered at this workshop for development, to make a difference.”
Speaking on the workshop with the title, “Econometrics for Policy Analysis,” the institute’s research director and senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka’s department of economics, Dr. Nathaniel Urama, said it was organized for lecturers from various Nigerian institutions’ departments of economics/agro-economics to update their knowledge on econometrics.
He explained that today’s knowledge of economics had moved from theory and graphs to quantitative model, calculations, hence the need for the training.
Dr. Ulama urged participants to transfer the knowledge learnt to their colleagues in their departments. “The knowledge is for you to transfer to other people. You are here as a representative of your department and the training is given to you free by Afriheritage.”
Over 50 economics/agro-economics lecturers from different higher institutions across the country took part in the workshop.