The National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has said it is open to collaborating with the Parliament of Ghana and its parliamentary services board.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Director-General of NILDS, Abubakar Suleiman, during a study tour of the institute by a delegation of the Parliamentary Service Board of Ghana.
Speaking during the occasion, Mr Suleiman, a professor of political science, said NILDS was ready to collaborate with Ghana in areas of capacity building and democratic consolidation.
Mr Suleiman said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic halted the capacity building activities of the institute.
He, however, said, “but as the pandemic winded down, I wish to assure the delegation of our commitment to sharing our experience and expertise with the new Institute especially in providing continuing education for MPs and parliamentary staff as we strive to enhance the professionalism of the parliamentary staff, clerks of committees and legislative aides.”
In his remarks, Head of the Ghanaian Delegation, Johnson Nketiah, who doubles as the chairman of the Committee on Administration and Human Resources of the Parliamentary Service Board of Ghana, said the delegation was in Nigeria “for exchange of ideas and best practices between the parliaments of Ghana and Nigeria.”
According to Mr Nketiah, the delegation was in Nigeria to understudy what NILDS is doing.
“We are about to embark on some reforms in our parliamentary service. We’ve heard about the good stories of Nigeria. And we think that there are very good lessons that we can learn from here.”
He said the delegation was interested in what NILDS is doing because ”we also have a similar institution even though very young, called Parliamentary Training Institute of Ghana.”
As bromide that, another objective of the visit, Mr Nketiah said, is to take away valuable lessons that will help them to improve on their parliamentary services back in Ghana.
Areas of collaboration
While addressing the delegation, Mr Suleiman said the Institute was ready to collaborate with Ghana on areas such as the exchange of legislative experience between the parliament and other parliamentary institutions, including Parliamentary Service Commissions.
He also said the Institute was open to sharing of experience and knowledge as well as templates and guidelines on legislative activities such as oversight as well as capacity-building activities for legislators, parliamentary staff and legislative aides to enable them to perform optimally.
The DG also listed capacity-building activities for political appointees to cover such areas as working with the legislature on budget process; understanding the billing process; legislative oversight function; and public finance management & public procurement, in addition to capacity building programmes for special committees of State Houses of Assembly such as regional workshops for Public Accounts Committees on public financial oversight; parliamentary procedure for workshop Rules and Business Committees; and budget reform workshops for Appropriation and Finance Committees.
As part of the areas of collaboration, Mr Suleiman mentioned capacity building programmes for paramilitaries, police and security committees.
In addition, the DG said the Institute and the Parliament of Ghana can collaborate and share experience/expertise in the following areas: legislative drafting training programmes of the Institute and relevant staff development; knowledge management activities and the training of political parties/ building capacity for NILDS in legislative information management, research and policy development
Also, the DG said the Institute was available to facilitate the exchange of experience to the Parliament of Ghana by the leadership of the National Assembly to interface with leadership and key parliamentary committees as well as internship opportunities for staff of the Institute, Commission and the National Assembly and vice versa.
Aside from the above, Mr Suleiman said the NILDS was ready to undertake surveys and research on security challenges within the ECOWAS sub-region.
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