President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof. Antonia Taiye Simbine as the first female Director-General of Nigeria’s National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).
The appointment takes effect June 1, 2022, according to a statement by the Office of the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning. Simbine succeeds Folarin Gbadebo-Smith whose tenure expires on May 31, 2022, as head of the apex socio-economic policy research think-tank.
For five years until 2020, Simbine was a National Commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) representing North-Central geopolitical zone and in charge the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Kaduna, Plateau and Niger States.
The professor of political science and international relations and current Head, Knowledge Management Department at NISER, brings to her new role a track record of experience and distinguished work in human development research.
A Fellow of the British Chevening Scholarship award for her PhD programme at Leeds University, UK, Simbine served in the National Youth Service programme at NISER after her first degree in Public Administration from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She became a research professor and also Director of the Social and Governance Policy Research Department at NISER in 2010.
Her work and various publications are on politics and elections, gender issues, especially women’s education and political participation; international relations/peacekeeping, conflict resolution and good governance.
In 2013, Simbine was appointed a Faculty Member and Reviewer for the New York-based Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship Programme of the Social Science Research Council.
She has also worked with the Swedish-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) on “Democracy Assessment in Nigeria,” and as a scholar on an Exchange Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies New Delhi, India, for research on political party systems in India and Nigeria.
In 2008, Simbine served as a Consultant to the Electoral Reform Committee set up by the Nigerian Presidency, and also worked with the Sub-Committee on Electoral Systems, before being appointed a Member, INEC Registration and Election Review Committee in 2011.
Simbine is a member of several local and international professional organizations working on the promotion of democratic governance and development.
NISER was set up in 1960 and domiciled in the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, in place of the defunct West African Institute of Social and Economic Research, established in 1950.
In 1987, the Institute was placed under the Presidency and moved from the University of Ibadan to its present Headquarters at Ojoo, Ibadan. Following its merger with the National Manpower Board, NISER was placed under the National Planning Commission in 2006