The President of Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, says the 10th Assembly will pass quality legislation that will raise the standard of education in the country. He made the pledge during the 10th National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)/ University of Benin (UNIBEN) Matriculation ceremony for Post Graduate programmes in Abuja on Monday, July 17, 2023.
“I am very much aware of the current state of education in the country, and I wish to assure you all that this administration is committed to addressing the nagging issues that bother on education instability and restiveness in our tertiary institutions.
“This is evident with the recently- assented Students Loan Act by President Bola Tinubu, to ensure access to education for all.
“I wish to equally assure Nigerians that the 10th Assembly shall have as her fulcrum part of its legislative agenda boost for educational development, as we believe that our growth and development as a nation is proportional to the quality of our educational system.
“Therefore, the 10th Assembly will pass quality legislation, which its implementation will raise the standard of education service delivery Nigerians expect from us,” he said.
Represented by the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Jibrin Barau, the President of the Senate implored the matriculating students to see the opportunity of their admission as a great privilege as the knowledge they will acquire cannot be found in conventional Universities.
He said that the programmes would offer the matriculants the needed knowledge to contribute to the nation’s democracy and national development.
Also speaking, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, said that the imperatives of research, training and education in fostering a strong, virile and vibrant democracy could not be over-emphasised.
Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, the Speaker commended NILDS for equipping lawmakers, policymakers, and the general public with the necessary skills to navigate the complexities of legislative and democratic processes.
“However, you are reminded of the huge task at your hands given the composition of the 10th Assembly which has nearly 70 per cent new membership.
“The Institute must quickly come up with programmes to fill the capacity gaps not only among our new colleagues and some of their legislative aides, but the entire staff of the National Assembly.
“It is hoped that your quick intervention in this regard with targeted programmes will enhance efficiency and productivity of members and staff of the National Assembly,” he said.
In her remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin (UNIBEN),Prof. Lilian Salami ,congratulated the students on their admission to study the various programmes in the Institute.
Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Ray Ozolua, Prof. Salami said that a total of 107 students were admitted to study various programmes as against the 80 students in the last session.
She said that the programmes included Master’s in Elections and Party Politics, Legislative Drafting, Parliamentary Administration and Legislative Studies, as well as Post- graduate Diploma in Elections and Party Management.
According to her, the courses are rare and special programmes, that are hardly offered elsewhere else. Salami said that the university and the institute would not rest on their oars but would continue to impart sound quality knowledge to students and keeping up with latest trends internationally.
She urged the students to be disciplined and focused and shun all vices and embrace only what is good to be found be worthy of the Post graduate degree or Diploma of UNIBEN/NILDS, earned based on learning and character.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar O Sulaiman, said that the collaboration between NILDS and UNIBEN had proven to be productive over the years. He assured the commitment of the Institute to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute and the University.
Prof. Sulaiman urged the matriculants to attend lectures promptly as a minimum attendance of 75 per cent is required to sit for exams. He said continuous assessment must be taken with all seriousness as it constitutes 30 to 40% of examination.
“Upon your successful completion of the programme, you would be awarded certificates by the University of Benin; the best students’ amongst you would also be recognised and offered an award of excellence.
“The pillars of the NILDS- UNIBEN Post Graduate programmmes is anchored on discipline and dedication; you are therefore expected to exhibit high sense of discipline while running the programme.
“The Post Graduate programme will not award its degree to students who are found wanting in character and in learning
“I wish to state that your choice of the NILDS- UNIBEN Postgraduate programmes is a wise one and we are committed to seeing that we impart to you all the necessary skills you deserve,” he said.