By Udora Orizu
The Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abubakar Sulaiman, has charged public servants who are staff of the institute to imbibe ethical values as inscribed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and other regulations guiding the operations of the public service in the discharge of their duties.
Sulaiman gave the charge while delivering his keynote address at a two-day capacity building workshop for research fellows of the institute in Abuja on Thursday.
He said as public servants, they are expected to abide by the provisions of the Administrative Manual with regards to their conduct, which must strictly be in line with the highest standards of ethics expected of public office holders.
He said, ‘’The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, other regulations guiding the operations of the public service as well as our Admin Manual have prescribed some ethical values to guide our conduct including integrity, professionalism, loyalty, courtesy, punctuality, high level of cooperation, and accountability among others. Failure to strictly abide by these normative standards attracts sanctions that range from warning, suspension and in extreme cases, dismissal. Just as I will not hesitate to reward good conduct, I shall not hesitate to sanction unethical conducts.
“Since assuming office as DG, I have prioritised the strengthening of the internal capacity of staff of the Institute. This stems from the realisation that in order to provide effective support to the legislature, we must, ourselves, be sufficiently competent and proficient in the subject matter we handle. It was for this reason that I approved a series of national and international training programmes for our staff across the various cadres.’’
Speaking further, the DG said special measures have also been taken by Management to improve the working condition of staff.
According to him, “Some of these efforts include the recent revising of the Institute’s Scheme of Service and Administrative Manual, to provide for a clearly defined career structure that will attract, motivate and facilitate the retention of staff in the Institute, among other things. Also, in the past few weeks, I approved the provision of work stations, including laptops, desktops and printers, to all staff that did not previously have these essential working tools. In recognition of the special place of research staff, I also approved increment of research allowance as a way of motivating staff. More so, effort is ongoing with developers and the Federal Mortgage Bank to develop staff quarters for staff at the Institute’s Kyami site along airport road.”
Sulaiman listing the achievements made by the institute for the year said, “In the area of training, despite the serious challenges posed by COVID-19, we conducted sixteen national training programmes for legislators as against the targeted nine. In line with my vision to expand the frontier of the Institute and increase our visibility at the sub-national level, we conducted nine training programmes for states across the six geo-political zones. The workplan target was one which we exceeded by eight. This was greatly enhanced through our collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
Our efforts extended to legislative staff where we targeted four national programmes but implemented eight. We also successfully conducted three international trainings for staff. Our performance in training for legislative staff also exceeded all previous records as we implemented eighteen programmes. One of the priority areas for the Governing Council is the capacity development of legislative aides. We successfully trained 300 legislative aides, out of the initially planned 1000.”
Also Speaking, Country Director, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Vladimir Kreck, said Nigeria can borrow the concept of “State Police” from his country Germany to address its troubling security challenge.
He said his organization values the culture of democracy and has through a number of collaborations with both the State Houses Assembly and the National Assembly continued to provide support to good governance, the rule of law and human rights in Nigeria.