The High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Dr. Benson Alfred Bana, has called for collaboration between the National Institute and similar institutions in Tanzania, particularly in the area of exchange of students and resource persons. According to Dr Bana such collaboration will help to strengthen the bond of unity and cooperation between both countries, especially in view of the fact that students from many African countries are now being trained in Nigerian military and police colleges as well as other high-ranking establishments in the country. The High Commissioner made this call when the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Professor Habu S. Galadima, paid him a courtesy call in his office on Wednesday, 19 February, 2020.
The Director General of the National Institute, who was accompanied on the courtesy call by Dr. Nasirdeen Usman, Acting Director of Studies; Ambassador Usman Sarki, Directing Staff; Dr. Musa E. Mamman, Senior Fellow, Directorate of Research; and Mrs. Sekyen Dogari, Protocol Officer, gave a brief background to the work of the Institute and intimated the High Commissioner of the theme for this year’s SEC programme, which is Population Growth and Human Capital Development in Nigeria. He said Tanzania was one of the six countries selected in Africa for a study tour to share experiences and draw valuable lessons from that country’s population policies and linkage with human capital development. The six countries selected in Africa and others around the world were very carefully selected because of their shared similarities in terms of diversity, population growth, dynamic economy and overall human development improvements, Galadima said.
The High Commissioner welcomed the Director-General and commended him for his work at the Institute, which is critical to the governance of the country. He thanked Prof Galadima also for selecting his country for the study tour adding that there are many similarities between his country and Nigeria. He said that in Tanzania they do not see population as a threat but as an opportunity. But he agreed that in Nigeria’s case there should be concern about exponential growth of population especially when it is estimated that the number of people in the country will rise to about 450 million in fifty years time. He however said that population should be a source of power if it is well managed, as evidenced by China, India and other large countries.
While noting that there are different schools of thoughts when it comes to looking at population, Dr Bana pointed out that the opinions of experts in demography should matter especially in achieving a balance between population and resource management. He said the Tanzanian National Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Finance and Planning with its Planning Commission, as well as the University of Darussalam should all be visited for data gathering and interaction on population issues, adding that the High Commission would do everything to facilitate the visit of NIPSS to Tanzania.
The High commissioner noted that there are many policy areas in which Nigeria and Tanzania share similar positions, such as the promotion of human rights, respect for human dignity, and protection of the rule of law. He recalled the collective efforts of both countries during the African liberation struggle for which Tanzania paid a huge price as part of the Frontline States. While acknowledging that various economic challenges have been experienced, he however added that these are being overcome through liberalization and dynamic policies. He commended the role of eminent African leaders including the founder of the Republic, Mwalimu Mulius Nyerere in African liberation and affirmed that peace and stability have been established in his country since independence.
According to him, Tanzania has moved its capital city from Dar-es-Salam to Dodoma just like Nigeria did from Lagos to Abuja. He also added that the country has made significant progress since 2017 when Participants from the National Institute last visited the country on Study tour. Some recent development projects in the country, according to him, include the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Dam that will produce 2000 megawatts, new railway lines powered by electricity and running on standard gauge lines, free education at the elementary level, 67 Districts Hospitals being built in four years all using local resources and no foreign debt. He also said 1.5 trillion Tshillings have been collected as revenue now as against half of that figure previously.
While alluding to the contribution of Tanzania to development of the African continent, Dr Bana noted that the country was a home of refugees and oppressed people throughout the struggles in the region. He also added that Tanzania has brokered peace in many countries around the region and even beyond, and plays a critical role in the East African Economic Community. He urged NIPSS to visit Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), an independent research institution which creates and utilises knowledge to facilitate socio-economic development in Tanzania, as well as the Uongozi Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development and the Tanzanian Defence College.
The DG thanked the High Commissioner for his hospitality and kindness, and promised to look into the issue of cooperation between the National Institute and Tanzanian counterparts with respect to exchange of students and resource persons.