The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and two regional legislative arms of government have announced that they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for capacity building of their staffers on legislative issues.
NILDS with the Parliament of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) made this known when the Speakers of EALA, Hon. Joseph Ntakirutimana and his ECOWAS counterpart, Hon. Sidie Mohammed Tunis paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman in Abuja on Thursday.
Tunis, who emphasised the imperative of the collaboration, 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 efforts by the two regional bodies in order to serve their people better.
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 Nigerian government to enable it 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).
The Director General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar O. Sulaiman, said the institute revolves around Africa in all ramifications. He disclosed that the first support received by the Institute as a program under National Assembly was by Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), after which Nigerian Government took over the funding.
The former Nigeria’s Minister of National Planning expressed the willingness and commitment of his Institute to sign the pact with the two Parliaments on capacity building of their staff on legislative issues as espoused.