The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has reached an agreement to further its relations with United Nations.
NILDS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which had maintained a cordial partnership for 7-years, agreed to extend its relations with democratic knowledge as its new focal agenda.
A statement issued by Kanayo Nwajei, Communications Adviser to the DG NILDS that the new focus was in view of the high turnover of lawmakers at both federal and state legislative bodies.
According to the statement, the agreement to further relations was reached when the duo met at a high level interactive engagement between UNDP at the UN House.
During the session, the Director General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, stated that the UNDP has been central to fostering development in African countries.
He said that the UN body had been supporting institutions of development, in the area of governance, particularly, oversight and advocacy for national ownership of the Sustainable Development Goals – a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Prof. Sulaiman also acknowledged the tremendous contribution of the UNDP to legislative capacity enhancement and democratic governance.
“Any country that wants to entrench sustainable development in its democratic growth, must look in the direction of partnership with the UNDP.
“The UNDP has greatly contributed to Nigeria through leadership development initiatives, among others. We need to go beyond the existing partnership.
“With our expanded mandate in NILDS, we seek broader partnership and greater cooperation between UNDP and NILDS in political education of all critical stakeholders in our democracy.
“We need to strengthen all stakeholders to get them to understand the democratic tenets, as this is key to the consolidation of Nigeria’s democracy,” he said.
The DG hinted that plans are underway for the establishment of “Democracy Radio” by NILDS to promote political, citizens’ awareness and enlightenment.
Responding, the UNDP Country Director, Mohamed Yahya, while acknowledging the partnership with NILDS over the years, lauded the initiative of the Radio Station, adding that he served as UNDP Head of a similar initiative in Afghanistan.
“The Radio served as a veritable tool for promotion of democratic values.
“Getting governance and democracy working is the bedrock of development and the UNDP, which is the mothership of development is committed to the wellbeing and future of Nigeria’s democracy.”
“A technical Committee drawn from the UNDP and NILDS has been mandated to work out the modalities for the collaboration and interventions, which will be targeted at both national and state actors,” he said.