The New Director-General of the National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Muhammad Tawfiq Ladan, who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on 18th of September, 2019 said he looks forward to making concrete achievements before his 100 days in office.
At an interactive session with some selected members of the judiciary correspondents led by its President, Tunde Oyesina , The Director General said that part of his reformation agenda for the institute was to get it a permanent site so as to function optimally.
Prof Ladan decried the lack of office space for about 317 members of his staff who are currently squatting at the Supreme Court Complex for the past 20 years and at the University of Lagos for about 40 years saying he had been meeting with many stakeholders on the best way possible to get us a permanent office for the institute. This Institute is 40 years old and we have been squatting in Lagos since then, we've also been squatting in Abuja at the Supreme Court Complex for 20 years since the administrative Headquarters moved here.
“When I assumed duty on the 20th of September, I had my inaugural meeting with the staff of the institute in Abuja. I was not happy that out of 120 members of staff in Abuja here, about 38 technical, professional, matured and responsible staff are squatting at the basement with reptiles”.I said this to the House Committee on Budget last week and the ICPC Boss that I've not been sleeping since that day I saw human beings with maturity and professionalism squatting at the basement. So it wasn't a joke and everywhere I've been to, I've said it so that they can begin to understand our problem. We can’t continue to be squatting”.
He also highlighted the importance of the institute saying if given enabling environment, it could help the Federal Ministry of Justice solve many of its administrative bottlenecks.
Referring to the Ministry of Justice and National Assembly law makers he said: “We are already established by law, we are meant to serve free of charge, the millions given to private lawyers and some roadside consultants to come and package drafts and the rest of them could be handled by us free of charge. 70 percent of your mandates could be delivered by the institute free of charge either on demand or we do the thinking for you. We can study the tempo of the nation on any issue and we can draft the motion for you to take the decision. When you also need a bill debate or analysis or a full blown bill, we can also develop it and send it to you to back up your motion and send them to you free of charge but because we are constrained by budget, we have not been visible and we can’t do any of these things. But you need to understand that we can help you save your money if given the enabling environment to function as we can also provide you technical training on some of these issues".
While speaking on the capital budget for the institutes, Prof Ladan said his efforts in the last three weeks in office has also paid off as the institute few days ago got 100 percent of its capital budget released after many years.
Disclosing his plan to generate revenue internally for the institute, the Director-General said plans were underway to market vigorously the journals of the institute both in hard copies and digitally. He promised to make more concrete achievements by his 100 days in office.