OrderPaperToday – Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, has charged the governing council board of the Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) to focus on building capacity of lawmakers and their aides in order to improve their performance.

Lawan said this while inaugurating the 17 man NILDS governing board at the National Assembly yesterday.

The Senate president is also the chairman of NILDS governing council, while the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, is the alternative chairman.

In their respective remarks, the two principal officers assured the director-general NILDS, Prof. Abubakar O. Sulaiman, of support from the National Assembly Leadership to enable the Institute to realise the objective of its
mandate.

Lawan said, “I want to assure the director general and management of NILDS that this governing council is going to give every possible support that you will need.

“This is in our interest as legislature, especially we in the National Assembly where the turn over of legislators is very high. It means after every four years we have to make some conscious and concerted efforts to do some capacity development for members of National Assembly and legislators across the country.

“I believe that from time to time NILDS will have some programmes that will ensure that our aides understand why they are here and what is expected of them.

“Presently we are disadvantaged. Senators and members of the House of Representatives have five legislative aides each and of course the expertise that may be required to that extent is not there. That places a lot of burden on us because some things that ordinarily your aides will do for you, you will end of doing it yourself.

“So we want to ensure that the five aides we have now have the enhanced capacity, expertise and capability so that it will reduce the burden on us,” the Senate president stated.

Furthermore, Lawan assured the council of speedy completion of NILDS permanent site.

Earlier, Speaker Gbajabiamila guaranteed the institute of support in carrying out its duties and acknowledged the critical importance of the Institute to the growth of Nigeria’s
Legislature, as well as the impact it has made to the sub-regional Parliaments in the last 16 years.

Commending the director-general, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, for a successful retreat for chairmen of the 105 committees of House of Representatives, he assured that the 17-member Council, who have been selected based on competence and relevance to the mandate of the institute, would give its support to enable the institute to implement its work-plan and programmes designed towards the
realisation of the institutes’ mandate and actualisation of the Legislative Agenda of the
9th National Assembly.

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Damilola Zebulun Adeniran
Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is a Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellow. He is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank Group. Also, Damilola's written work on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA and the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA) Marketplace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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