The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) is intent on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Parliament of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to bolster the capacity of the various staff members on legislative issues.
This comes just as the Speakers of EALA, Honourable Joseph Ntakirutimana and his ECOWAS counterpart, Honourable Sidie Tunis paid a courtesy call on the Director General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman in Abuja.
Speaking, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis, praised the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) as an essential institution for good governance in Africa.
Emphasizing the essence of the collaboration, Tunis further stated that the training will boost the capacity of the ECOWAS member states and the entire Africa.
He noted that the “African Union (AU) with its Head Office in Addis Ababa cannot determine what happens in Nigeria,” which he added makes it even more important for this collaborative effort by the two regional bodies in order to serve their people better.
The Director General of the NILDS, Abubakar Sulaiman, while commenting on the necessity of the pact mentioned that “the MOU if signed will provide for the training of legislators and parliamentary staff in areas such as lawmaking, public policy, and conflict resolution.
“The MOU will help to ensure that legislators are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively represent their constituents and make sound laws.”
Hon Ntakirutimana in his remarks expressed delight that NILDS, which he likened to the American Democratic Institute (NDI) in terms of ideas and intellectual resources, is based in Nigeria, even as he stressed the need for “NILDS to be autonomous from the Western influence.”
He welcomed the idea of capacity building as well as canvassed adequate funding for the institute by the Nigerian government to enable it to serve Nigeria and Africa effectively without external influence.
The EALA leader also solicited support for Dr. Tulia Ackson, the female Speaker of the Parliament of Tanzania, who is vying for the Speakership of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU).