NILDS MOVES TO PARTNER WESTMINSTER FOUNDATION ON CAPACITY BUILDING AND DEEPENING DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
The Director General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar Olanrewaju Sulaiman has solicited the collaboration of the Westminster Foundation in terms of instilling democratic culture and enhancing the capacity of various stakeholders in the democratic environment.
Speaking during a courtesy call at his office in Abuja by the Country Representative of the Foundation, Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, the DG who appreciated the Foundation for being steadfast in ensuring that the viability of democracy institutions especially in emerging democracies, said NILDS is always ready and available for partnership geared towards capacity building, networking and development of the legislature.
He informed that the Institute has extended its mandate beyond the legislature, adding that it has through its department of Democratic Studies designed a 4-year strategic plan targeted at the activities of the various political parties in terms of capacity building, manifesto, how to build string ideological base and regular and enriching interface with other parties and stakeholders.
Prof. Sulaiman stated that NILDS has plans to galvanize the various Civil Society Organizations also in the areas of political education and sensitization. "We are also working with relevant stakeholders like the Office of the United Nations Women to relaunch the advocacy on gender equality and inclusiveness" he stated.
The DG seized the meeting to sue for technical support, particularly to meet the training needs of new legislators. He informed that though the Institute is already inundated with several activities captured in its 2019 workplan, conscious efforts are being made to include local government area councils in the Institute's training schedules, “we must not leave those at the grassroots behind", he emphasized.
He implored the Westminster Foundation to lend its support towards completing NILDS' Permanent site, which he informed would be of great service to the entire African continent and beyond. "To drive our vision home, we have created the international cooperation division and its working to establish a Radio station; getting the work done requires not just funding, it also requires manpower, the DG stated.
Earlier, the Country Representative of Westminster Foundation, an NGO working to promote sustenance of democratic institutions, Mr. Olorumola extolled NILDS, citing that the Institute is reckoned internationally as a strategic and high profile institution. He was on a familiarization visit to NILDS to explore possible areas of needs and partnership that would culminate into proffering strategic engagement with women and people living in disabilities.
While lauding the intention of the Institute to enhance capacity of political parties, he sued for synergy between NILDS and other critical institutions with common goals. He emphasized that the foundation is interested in lending credibility to electoral processes and support popular participation in decision making processes and it is right to partner with NILDS on these critical issues.
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