Stakeholders have thrown their weight behind a bill to establish the Lagos State Institute of Legislative Studies.
The institute will be responsible for conducting quality academic and professional research, training and advocacy on democratic governance, legislative practice/procedure and for connected purposes.
Speaking as a Guest Speaker at the public hearing organised by the House Committee On Education, and Tertiary Institutions of the Lagos state House of Assembly, on Friday, the Director of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Dr. Shuaib Danwaka, said the institute is predicated on the need to provide training for lawmakers and legislative staff.
“The bill is to establish the institute that would provide capacity so that the assembly would be able to discharged it’s 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.
The institute would also promote and protect constitutional due process in legislative practices and encourage private sector participation and collaborate with national and international organisations on research and training on issues relevant to its mandate.
It was recommended that the institute shall also have powers to conduct periodic short and refresher courses for national and state legislators, staff, committee secretaries and political aides on democracy and good governance;
It will also provide research reports for legislation for the House of Assembly, their committees or the Legislative Drafting and Legal Services of the House of Assembly.
He made some observations about the bill and advised that such should be effected in the proposed bill.
In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa said that it was the tradition of the House to organize stakeholders meeting before any bill is passed into law.
Obasa, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, recalled the establishment of the Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies by former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, which he said was the first in Africa.
He added that Lagos State was replicating this to enhance good governance.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Ganiu Okanlawon, said that the public hearing was aimed at involving relevant stakeholders and members of the public.
He said that the institute would provide education for lawmakers and all kinds of legislative officers through seminars, workshops, conferences and other kinds of training.
This was corroborated by the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Hon. Owolabi Ajani, who said that the assembly would do what was expected of it before the bill is passed to the Governor for his assent.