The Problem Statement
After independence in 1960, the country experienced ethno-religious crisis which culminated to civil war that lasted three long years, from 1967-1970, and claimed over a million lives.
Then the return to democratic rule in 1999, which came with its fault lines too. Nigeria as a country continued to experience various violent conflicts connected with ethnic, religious and sectional nationalities.
These Conflicts no doubt is an inevitable part of human existence. It affects individuals, families, communities, and social groups, as well as institutions and nation-states.
In seeking for ways to manage these conflicts, the IPCR was established to handle conflicts and help in reducing the loss of lives, human suffering, economic losses and insecurity.
The ACT Solution
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) was established in February, 2000 under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Its objective is primarily a research Centre, a think-tank and an agency to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity for the promotion of peace, conflict prevention, management and resolution.
The Institute is a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal; and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.
It has a governing and membership council appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a tenure of 4 years.
The Institute has the functions of promoting peace and security internally within Nigeria and externally in Africa; conducting research into the cause, patterns, dynamics, factors and forces behind conflicts and insecurity in Nigeria and Africa; publishing and disseminating case studies from its researches with a view to offering insights into the success or failure in conflict resolution and peacebuilding; identifying these factors, issues, historical phases, capacities and the balance of power of different groups in a conflict situation; promoting a culture of transparent, credible and peaceful democratic succession as a mechanism for conflict prevention; getting practically involved in the task of mediation, conflict management and conflict resolution; encouraging the establishment of regional affiliates of the Institute in Africa and other parts of the world and fostering collaboration with those affiliates; designing strategies for funding people-centered development programmes to support peace; providing Government with relevant policy options on fundamental issues required in designing an effective and durable peace process; initiating, encouraging, organizing, hosting, arranging and conducting policy-relevant courses, national or international seminars, symposia, conferences, and workshops, training programmes and other actions that are incidental to peace making and peace building as part of its intensive effort in capacity building.
Also, this ACT made other provisions for employees and the institute, such as: entitlement to pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits as are prescribed under
the said Pension Reform Act, acceptance of any gift of land, money or other property on such terms and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person or organization making the gift or inconsistent with the functions of the institute.
Borrow money by overdraft or otherwise as it may require for the performance of its functions under this Act, with the approval of the federal government, invest all or any of its funds in any security prescribed by the council, exempted from tax payment and every information are treated as confidential.
Any person who contravenes the provisions of the ACT commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both such fine and imprisonment.
The ACT was set up to replace the Sani Abacha Foundation with transferred obligations, assets, leadership etc. and the council of the institute are to meet thrice yearly except summoned by the chairman.
NIGAC Constructive Take/Position
Nigeria is a very complex and interesting state. With 188 million people, over 250 ethnic groups and close to 400 different languages spread over 923 763 km2 , it is one of the world’s most diverse, exciting and complex nations.
Expectedly, with Nigeria’s rich diversity, comes the challenges of understanding and cohesion amongst its many ethnic nationalities.
Yes, the government has attempted to build a sense of National Cohesion through the NYSC Scheme, N-Power scheme, the government should introduce peace and conflict education at all level of education.
Also, the management of this institute should operate on a transparent and accountable slate with zero Nepotism, in other to deliver quality service to Nigerians.