The Public Administration Practitioners in Nigerian Universities, have held their first national conference with a focus on the inter-dependence of good governance, public sector management and sustainable development.
The body, which used to be part of the traditional political science space, has recently carved a niche for themselves by breaking out and establishing their forum called: “The Public Administration Theories and Practice Forum of Nigeria.”
The forum, aimed at making impact in the affairs of the public sector administration in Nigeria, held the 3-day conference at the National Open University of Nigeria’s (NOUN) headquarters, Jabi- Abuja.
With the theme: “Good Governance, Public Sector Management and Sustainable Development,” the conference had in attendance lecturers, scholars and students of public administration from different universities in Nigeria.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. Samson Osoba, commended the practitioners for setting up the forum that, he believes, would see to the betterment of the discipline and its practitioners.
Peters urged the administrators to pull their colleagues and resources from within and outside the universities in order to strengthen the association, stressing that NOUN would support any forum that exists to take education to the next level.
The Head of Department, Public Administration, NOUN, Dr. Nwamaka Patricia Ibeme, in her welcome speech, said the desire for the forum arose from the need to create a peculiar space as public administration practitioners in Nigeria.
Dr.Amaka Ibeme delivering her opening address
“Our aspiration in the Public Administration Theory and Practice Forum is to unify Public Administration academics in Nigeria’s tertiary and research institutions’ interests in critical thinking, understanding of good governance and public administration in all spheres of public sector economy.
“To deliver on this mission, our core objectives include, to serve as a platform for engaging in constructive dialogue with the scholars of public administration and allied disciplines on critical public administration issues and challenges in Nigeria and the ways to address them,” she disclosed.
The conference, which was also attended by Ph.D. students of the department in the host university, was aimed at providing them mentorship by professors present at the conference.
One of the conveners of the conference, Prof. Akongbowa Bramwell Amadasun, who also gave an opening speech, stated that “it is extra-ordinarily important that this conference is taking place at a time when public administration as a discipline is not only struggling for independence from political science and attempting to create a niche but also to change the governance narrative in Nigeria.”
Amadasun of the Department of Public Administration, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, stated that the elasticity of the expectations for the conference knows no boundary. “I have no doubt that the conference will provide fertile ground for fruitful and rewarding deliberations in the next few days ahead.”
The conference was made up of paper presentations, panel discussions, and their first Annual General Meeting, which, according to Ibeme, will be the first of many to come.