L-R: Professor M T Ladan ( DG NIALS) presenting some copies of NIALS Books to Professor Abubakar O Suilaiman (DG NILDS) on Wednesday, 16th October 2019.

The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) paid a courtesy visit to the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS). The NIALS delegation was led by Prof. M.T. Ladan, other members of the delegation included, Dr Fatima Bello, Mrs Lilian Uche and Mr Lukman Olomada.

The delegation was well received by the Director- General of NILDS Professor Abubakar Suleiman and his team. The event began with opening remarks by the Director- General of NIALS which set the tone for the focus of the visit which is to propose partnership between NIALS and NILDS on some key areas which include the printing press, NIALS and NILDS participating in public events, NILDS participating in NIALS Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Programme, specialised training for NILDS staff, and collaborative legal research.

While introducing NIALS in his opening remarks, the Director- General noted that NIALS was established 40 years ago (1979- 2019), and that we have two offices- the one in Lagos which we had for 40 years, and the administrative Headquarters in the Supreme Court Complex. He observed that we are lucky to be hosted by the University of Lagos with a building in our name, and credited this to the efforts of the former Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Taslim O. Elias. He observed that we have been lucky to be situated in the Supreme Court building for 20 years because every Chief Justice of Nigeria had been the Chairman of the NIALS governing Council.

He mentioned that NIALS has a staff strength of around 317, out of which 69 are academic staff from which 16 are professors, and 5 of the Professors are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). He then went on to discuss the focus areas for partnership as follows:

1    Printing Press:

The Director- General mentioned that we have the NIALS Press which has existed for almost 20 years. That the press had been printing publications for numerous agencies over the years, including the Ministry of Justice. He proposed a partnership on manuscript publication and showed the Director- General of NILDS the NIALS Press flyer showcasing what the printing press has to offer. He further mentioned that the NIALS press is equipped with 12 technical staff, editors, and proof readers capable of handling the proposed manuscript publication. He also said that part of the partnership is to showcase what we have and create a platform to allow us handle publications.

2    CLEC:

He mentioned that support services and research- based departments can benefit from NIALS programmes. He said we have the CLEC and specialise in specialist courses. He noted that our PhD in Legislative Drafting which is the first and only one of its kind in Nigeria is in full force.

3    Provide Services to NILDS as Partner:

The Director- General drew the attention of the Director- General NILDS to the fact that NIALS have specialised training that it can put together, and other training also contained in our Course calendar. This he said provides a platform for NIALS to offer specialised intensive programmes for NILDS staff.

4    Collaborative Legal Research:

The Director- General observed that because the NILDS is a multidisciplinary agency, and NIALS is a specialised Advanced Legal Research Institute, it creates room for collaboration.

In his response, the Director- General of NILDS thanked the Director- General NIALS for his visit and congratulated him on his well-deserved appointment. He noted that having left NILDS to head NIALS, NILDS is still his home and saw the proposal for collaboration as home coming.

1    Collaboration and Capacity Building:

He observed that the space for collaboration in the activities of every research institution and discipline is the point of convergence between collaborators. He said his Institute is more of a legal one which deals with legislations, bills, etc and so if there is anyone to collaborate with, then it should be NILDS. He noted that all the requests are in fulfilment already because NILDS publishes every month or every two months so if they need to publish, it is in order to partner with NIALS along that line. This he said the NIALS press can key into.

On the, he said the last reaming courses for the year were not related to their needs else he would have nominated participants immediately. He noted that they are looking for a centre that will help provide NILDS with specialised skills hence, NIALS and NILDS must work together in the area of capacity building.

2    Public Events:

The Director- General said NILDS will engage NIALS staff on public events, especially in specialised areas.

3    Legal Research:

The Director- General said on the aspect of collaboration on legal research, NILDS will identify the areas for collaboration and contact NIALS regarding same.

4    He mentioned further that NILDS will not only collaborate with NIALS on the above mentioned areas, NILDS will also collaborate with the Institute on other areas not mentioned herein.

The Director- General of NIALS presented the Director- General NILDS with some copies of the Institutes’ publication. The NILDS on their part presented NIALS with copies of their publications in electronic storage formats. While doing so, the Director- General NIILDS pointed out that most of their resources are in electronic format, and requested a link to our librarian as he promised to avail us with 100 soft copies of their publications.

L-R: Dr. Fatima Bello, Professor  M T Ladan (DG NIALS), Professor Abubakar O Suilaiman(DG NILDS) and Mrs Lilian  Uche on partnership courtesy visit to NILDS on Wednesday, 16th October 2019.