The Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, has observed that the country has shortage of legislative drafters.
Mr Sulaiman expressed the worry at the inauguration of the first batch of the 2022 NILDS internship programme on Legislative Drafting on Tuesday in Abuja.
He noted that there was a dearth of professional drafters across the legislature in the country and across Africa.
“A few months ago, a delegation from the Ghanaian Parliament expressed a similar sentiment during their benchmarking visit to the institute and requested for assistance in building the capacity of drafters across national parliaments in Africa.
“In Nigeria and Africa, we are short of drafters; if you are talking about governance, democracy, it’s all about good legislation; it’s all about rule of law; it’s all about law making.
“If we are talking about law making process, you are talking about legislation, you are talking about good governance and key to all these are drafters,” he said.
The director-general said that African students went to universities to become lawyers, but few of them would specialise in legislative drafting.
Mr Sulaiman attributed the challenge to the non-teaching on drafting in most universities in the continent.
He said that there was a serious need for competent and well-trained drafters to meet the needs of the legislature at both the National Assembly and equally at state houses of assembly.
He said that the internship scheme was designed to consist of three batches each year with each comprising 20 interns for a duration of three months.
In his address, former Director, Legislative Drafting (National Assembly), Muhammed Hassan, said that the internship would address the shortage of workforce of legislative drafting in the Department of Legislative Support Services.
“At the end of this programme, the interns would be assessed and a comprehensive report of the assessment would be submitted to the DG NILDS,” he said.