NILDS DG Seeks Greater Constitutional Power for Legislature

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Professor Abubakar Suleiman

The Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abubakar Sulaiman has said the legislature as the bedrock of democracy remains a formidable force in Nigeria’s style of democracy whether or not its resolutions are binding on the executive.

Speaking with journalists on the sideline of a two-day capacity building workshop for research fellows of the institute in Abuja on Thursday; Sulaiman said the legislature by virtue of the Constitution has inherent powers; but that much of it has remained latent and seem to exit only in theory on account of Nigeria’s peculiar brand of democracy that clearly wills more powers to the executive arm of government.

He said the balance of power may remain badly skewed against the legislature with the executive gaining the upper hand unless the Constitution is amended.

Addressing participants at the workshop; Sulaiman said his agency will continue to invest in building the capacity of its staff and effectively equip them with the required skills to provide necessary research and technical support for the National Assembly.

He said the institute will reward diligence and hardwork but will not hesitate to wield the big stick on recalcitrant staff.

Speaking, Country Director, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Vladimir Kreck said Nigeria can borrow the concept of “State Police” in his country Germany to address its troubling security challenge.

He said his organization values the culture of democracy and has through a number of collaborations with both the State Assemblies and the National Assembly continued to provide support to good governance, the rule of law and human rights in Nigeria.

The capacity training workshop is the first in a series of similar trainings by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

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