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Strengthening Parliament for Good Governance and Accountability in Nigeria

20 May, 2015

The National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) is an organ of the Nigerian National Assembly established by an Act of Parliament. Created in 2011 NILS was built on the successes of the Policy Analysis and Research Project (PARP), established in 2003 as a capacity building institution of the National Assembly with the financial support of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).  NILS aims to promote good governance and strengthen democratic processes, structures and institutions in Nigeria by fostering and disseminating among legislators the practice of science-based methodologies of law-making; providing legislators and officials with institutionalized opportunities and training in the various disciplines of legislative processes; improving capacity of legislators to sustain and consolidate democratic governance through deliberation and policy formulation; and improving technical capacity of legislative staff, committee secretaries and political aides to process appropriation bills and policy oversight of the executive.

For over 7 years, PARP helped to strengthen the capacities of legislators and ensure that the positions and proposals advanced by the National Assembly are informed by requisite research and analytical support.  PARP’s two-phase program supported by ACBF has assisted legislators in drafting and sponsoring bills on topical policy issues and also assisted the National Assembly in tracking the progression of bills. In so doing, PARP collates the Acts enacted and Bills presented on the floors of the two Chambers of the Assembly. The Bills are then digitalized and uploaded onto the National Assembly website. During Phase I of the Project, 725 Bills were tracked.

To enhance the capacity of legislators to contribute positively to debates on issues of national importance on the floors of the two Chambers, PARP analyzes new government policy actions and shares the outcomes with them. PARP also conducts research and studies on topical and relevant national issues, which are then used to enhance the capacity of legislators and their staff and guarantee their effective and efficient performance. The Project has also conducted various workshops on legislative development and process, budget process, communication and information management and ICT skills acquisition and enhancement. An assessment of these programs revealed that the attitudes and behavior of over 98 percent of beneficiaries has changed, and performance improved.

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Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana