By Musa Adamu
To prepare the West African Parliaments for the challenges in the new legislative cycle, the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS is seeking strategic intervention from the African Capacity Building Foundation, ACBF.
This is against the backdrop of the African Monetary Zone’ plan to introduce a common currency; promote economic integration within the framework of the Economic Community of West African States, and address the lingering security challenges in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
In a statement issued by the Communications Officers of NILDS, Nwajei Kanayo, it said the ACBF has endorsed the proposal by NILDS, to expand and accelerate strategic trainings for the newly elected legislators, to deal with the knowledge needs, across regional Parliaments, occasioned by the high turn-over of fresh legislators.
The Executive Secretary, ACBF, Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie gave this assurance at a meeting in Abuja, with the Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof Abubakar O. Sulaiman.
He hinted that, evolving new strategic approach to NILDS-ACBF partnership would greatly help both institutions achieve their mandate of effective legislation, which is central to the success of any democracy.
Addressing the ACBF Executive Secretary earlier, the Director General, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman while acknowledging the consolidation of existing collaboration, he called for acceleration of NILDS-Cap 111 to enable the Institute implement the relevant aspects in its work-plan programmes.
He noted that the 9th National Assembly is deeply concerned about the need to find a sustainable solution to the insecurity that has bedeviled Nigeria and the continent and the proposal for a single and common currency.
He added that there was need to put in place a mechanism that would broaden the knowledge of the Parliamentarians, especially, the new members on the common market and the required legislation.
These refreshing strategies are coming after a successful implementation of ACBF-NILDS project: NILDS-Cap 1 and 2, which focused on financial oversight and other issues that inhibit economic development.
Speaking on the uniqueness of the ACBF-NILDS partnership, the Executive Secretary said that governance and institutionalization are key elements to both institutions, stressing that partnership is an important dimension in ensuring effective governance. ”ACBF has created over 40-50 policy think-tanks developing economic management policies across the sub-region”.
Expressing delight with the continued successes of NILDS, Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie said, NILDS has become a critical intellectual resource center for not only Nigeria’s National Assembly but parliaments in the West African sub-region.
While acknowledging Nigeria as one of the 12 countries that contributed in founding the ACBF with a cumulative contribution of $6.7 million since 1991, he said the country has demonstrated strategic support, hence priority would be given to Nigeria through NILDS in strengthening the Legislative arm of government.
He commended the Institute for sticking to the principle of World Best practices.
Nigeria is a founding member of the ACBF, established as a partnership between African countries and their multilateral and bilateral development partners.
ACBF was established with the objective of assisting in the development of necessary local capacities of African countries. In the last 28 years, its membership has grown from 12 to 39.
Meanwhile, the ACBF has assisted over 45 African countries and has invested $750 million in capacity building projects across Africa in a number of critical areas.