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INSECURITY: GEN BURATAI CALLS FOR MORE INVESTMENT IN RESEARCH, HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT

Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), has said that Nigeria's shortest and surest way out of its security and economic challenges is increased investments in research and human capital development, through the creation of innovative tink-tanks in all aspects of our national lives. 


Gen Buratai stated this at the weekend, during the ground breaking ceremony of Tukur Buratai Research Centre (TBRC), Keffi , Nasarawa State. 


The former Chief of Army Staff said TBRC was conceived to fill the vacuum in research and policy development, especially in the areas of security, defence, peace, conflict management, climate change, leadership and development. He said his passion for human capital development was borne out of his genuine desire to give back to the system and contribute his own quota.


He said his philosophy about life is to continue to live by improving on the system that is availabl. He said, as someone coming from the military, he reckons that the best way for him and his associates is to add value to society and make the country better and stronger through think-tanks, like TBRC. 


“One may want to know why a retired General cum diplomat will decide to collaborate with a university to set up a think-tank like TBRC. Since this a straight question, I will respond with an answer that is precise and straight to the point. It was W.H Auden who said that, “We are here on Earth to do good to others. What others are here for, I don't know.” 


“Let me make it categorically clear to us that one of the factors that helped the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries is strong and innovative think-tanks. As far back as 1831, the Duke of Wellington set up the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies with the aim of helping policy makers navigate through complex policy problems. Then the London Fabian Society which got established in 1884, home to Sydney and Beatrice Webbs, who later founded the London School of Economics. In 1919, scholars like Lionel Curtis of the Oxford University spearheaded the establishment of a think-tank to explore international problems and advocate policy solutions. 


“After that, we saw the emergence of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1916, which in 1927, merged with two other institutions to form the widely acclaimed Brookings Institution. I believe that there exists a gap in our polity that “TBRC as a think-tank can fill through research and policy development especially in the areas of security and defence, peace, conflict management, climate change, leadership and development.” He said.


Buratai also stated that development in every sectors of our national lives should not be left for the government alone. He says all hands must be on deck in the quest for a safe, secured and prosperous country. 


“We need development in every sector of our national life, and this is something that should not be left for the government alone to do. As I have said in so many fora, there can be no real development without security and peace, and in the same vain, there must be economic opportunities, equity and justice for security and peace to exist which in turn serves as the foundation or pillars of development. 


“TBRC will devote attention to the interplay between these critical factors taking cognisance of our environment and its peculiarities with a view to coming up with policies that can help the government. Our objective is geared towards a more secured and better Nigeria for all Nigerians.


“Increased productivity, improved socio-economic well-being, increased income, infrastructure development, job creation, and improved quality of local produce for both domestic and international markets remain the hallmarks of a well-thought-out research initiative and development agenda by a prosperous nation led by a visionary/corrupt-free leader. The anticipated benefits of a functional research and development program include training people with the necessary capacity to conduct economic tasks with an appreciable degree of skill, hence achieving maximum production. These capacities include equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully harness and exploit the potentials found in their surroundings. Nigeria's current situation demonstrates that it is a populous nation with a plethora of potentials but insufficient capabilities to transfer these potentials into socioeconomic reforms. 


“Evidence abounds in nations throughout the world that house research centre dedicated to developing necessary initiatives and or strategies that will aid in mitigating development issues and maximizing environmental potential. While a few of nations have achieved significant milestones and or breakthroughs in this area, many others are still struggling to find their footing in terms of designing mechanisms by which their potentials can be fully realized. 


“Research entails an in-depth investigation of an object or situation with the goal of promoting development and progress. It is a process that involves the collection of reliable and usable information and data on the subject of the research, as well as the analysis of the data acquired in order to reach a legitimate conclusion. Thus, the primary purpose of research is to uncover answers to important questions targeted at resolving societal problems."


He alao opined that leadership is a characteristic, nor a title. Leadership, he said should be about encouraging others to live the organization's or society's vision, mission, and values.


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