Having covered his first ten months in office (September 30th 2019 to July 30th, 2020), the focus of this piece is on the remaining two months completing Prof Ladan's one-year score-card as DG NIALS.
A. Successful Strategic Partnership with selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Donor /Development partners yielded results in one year.
1. Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) donated One hundred and ten (110) laptops with E-Learning Suites, bags and anti-theft devices in support of NIALS’ drive to migrate from analogue to digital in discharging its mandate, especially, in respect of its Continuing Legal Education Courses, Postgraduate programmes and digitization of files and data for optimal performance in the 21st century.
2. Secured a 25,000 Euro (about 12 million naira) grant from G1Z, German Foundation for a two weeks Capacity building Training workshops for federal and state prosecutors (2 weeks scheduled for October 2020);
3. Secured a bigger grant of $800,000 dollars (about 400 million naira) three years grant (2021 to 2023) from the MacArthur Foundation as phase two grantee institution selected to drive Nigeria's Criminal Justice Sector Reform;
4. The Institute, through its Department of Private and Property Law Won the 2020 Creative Commons Grant Award of one thousand dollars (1,000 dollars) for drafting of GLAMS Guidelines on basic Nigerian Copyright law.
5. The newly established Directorate of Continuing Legal Education, Consultancy , Regional Economic Integration Law and Policy (CLECREILP) won the ECOWAS 2020 young researchers Grant Award for promoting Renewable Energy organized by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). NIALS Research topic is: -Tackling Nigeria's Energy Poverty through Sustainable Waste to Energy Initiatives.
6. The Centre for Regional Economic Integration Law and Policy of the new Directorate was commended for successfully coordinating the secretariat of the Legal, policy and Regulations expert Working Group of the National Committee on the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and by putting together a compendium of laws, policies and regulations for review by the Committee.
7. Finalised a Memorandum of Understanding with NITDA, to among other things, promote the teaching, research and publications in the field of Information and Communications Technology Law and for using law to promote a digital economy.
8. Renewed Partnership with UNODC on the Training of Judges and Prosecutors in Counter-Terrorism measures, following an excellent review of UNODC Draft manual and draft Preface making it ready for Printing.
9. Selected by the Kaduna State Law Review Commission to provide technical support on the review and reform of Kaduna state laws, which entails updating existing laws and consolidating all scattered pieces of legislations, regulations and other subsidiary legislations into one single body of laws of the state.
B. Consistency in Promoting Staff Welfare
1. For the first time in 20 years, provision of the office space accommodation at the Supreme Court Basement for about 40 Administration, Bursary and Audit staff, resulted in ease of congestion and protection of staff against the health hazards associated with the operating industrial printing equipment.
2. The first time a large distribution of a total of 40 laptops to both academic and non-academic staff in Lagos and Abuja were made to enhance digitization of files and data, fast-track E-learning programmes and upgrade NIALS to an ICT Compliant institution.
3. For the second time in a row, an annual promotion exercise is scheduled to take place and completed the same year in order to boost the morale of eligible staff, reward hard-work, and avoid backlog of cases and arrears. Like the 2019 completed exercise, the 2020 promotion exercise has commenced.
C. Innovative Interventions
1. For the first time, the Institute successfully migrated its annual Continuing Legal Education Program from physical/analogue to digital interactive module Lecture series.
2. Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period, April to September, the institute management and council meetings staff seminar series and ten public policy Lecture/ webinar series were organised to respond to the new normal and to make NIALS an ICT complaint institution and a living giant in the justice sector.
3. Special study was undertaken on the impact of COVID-19 on the Justice sector in Nigeria, the report of which was published and submitted to the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation/ Minister of Justice and the President, Nigerian Bar Associations, for their kind consideration.
D. Budget Performance: - IGR and Tax Remittances to Government
1. Achieved 100% 2019 Capital Budgetary Allocation/Performance having paid all Contractors who supplied all the items to which funds were appropriated. This includes provision of 3 industrial Printing press equipments worth about thirty million naira; completion of permanent site perimeter fencing and security post in Abuja. While the 2020 budget performance evaluation is still ongoing.
2. Achieved 82% Internally Generated Revenue Remittance to Consolidated Revenue Fund, among the top two MDAs in the Justice sector.
3. Achieved 99% Tax Remittance to Federal Inland Revenue Service, for the period under review, and cleared about 40% of previous years backlog of arears/ unremitted tax inherited from previous administrations.
Prof. M.T. Ladan DG NIALS (26 Sept 2020)