Thursday, December 8, 2022

Lagos Assembly passes bill to establish legislative studies institution

According to the bill, the institute would act as a centre of excellence for research and publication on democratic governance.

• February 24, 2022
Lagos House of Assembly
Lagos House of Assembly used to illustrate the story

Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a Bill for the establishment of Institute of Legislative Studies and Research.

The passage followed a third reading by the Acting Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko during a plenary session presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni.

When signed into law, the bill will make the proposed Institute of Legislative Studies the first state version of the Institute already established at the national level.

According to the bill, the institute would act as a centre of excellence for research and publication on democratic governance as well as be a centre for continuing education on democracy and legislation.

Among other functions, the institute is to “conduct courses for all categories of legislative officers and the support staff with a view to expanding their overall knowledge and performance in different sections of service;

“Provide continuing education for all categories of legislative officers by undertaking, organising, conducting and facilitating studies, courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, conference and other programmes related to Legislative education;

“Promote and disseminate among legislative Assemblies and Local Governments in the State the practice of science-based methodologies of lawmaking.”

It could be recalled that during the public hearing on the Bill in May 2021, the Director of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Shuaib Danwaka, said that the institute was predicated on the need to provide training for lawmakers and legislative staff.

Mr Danwaka, who was the guest speaker at the event commended the Assembly for following the footsteps of the federal government, while arguing that democracy is sustained through capacity development.

“The bill is to establish the institute that would provide capacity so that the Assembly would be able to discharged its duties of law making and oversight.

“The duties of the legislature cannot be discharged without capacity. With the institute the capacity of the legislature and staff is guaranteed and it will go beyond Lagos and Nigeria,” he said while noting some parts of the bill that should be considered.

Like Mr Danwaka, Professor Sylvester Odion Akhaine, a Nigerian activist and academic, supported the bill, but noted areas that could be reviewed.

Meanwhile, the bill was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who said the proposed institute was to be charged with the responsibility of conducting quality academic and professional research, training and advocacy on democratic governance, legislative practices, procedures and for connected purposes.

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