By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Monday formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA to collaborate on law reforms for the promotion of good governance and sustainable development.
Speaking at the event that held in his office that attracted the leadership of NBA led by its National President, Olumide Akpata, Gbajabiamila said that the collaboration between the two bodies since the inception of the 9th House has witnessed positive results in the passage of some critical laws in the country.
He said: “This is basically the formalization of something that’s already working. The signing of the MoU may seem symbolic, but I see it beyond that. I see it as a way of deepening our democracy and developing the country, which we all so passionately love.
“Contrary to what a lot of people think, I always believe that governance is about collaboration; it’s about everybody. It’s not about politicians alone, it’s about everybody, so we’ve got to maximize our efforts and potential to bold, bigger and better things for this country.
“For me, this is a critical collaboration between two very important sectors. This is a public-private partnership between the Legislature and the NBA.
“I’m glad that law reform is a core mandate of the NBA, and for us too, law reform is part of our core mandate. When we repeal laws and amend laws, we are reforming laws. It’s gratifying to know that we actually have a shared mandate, but what we do with that shared mandate is what will determine how far we can take this”.
The speaker commended the leadership of the association and what it has been doing for the profession while emphasizing the commitment, speed and diligence with which it worked and collaborated with the House on Police and Electoral law reforms, among others.
“I don’t think there’s been a time that the Legislature and NBA have worked so seamlessly together towards making Nigeria a better place”, he noted.
Earlier in his remarks, the NBA President, Akpata, appreciated the speaker and the House for being most accommodating with regards to collaboration and the potential of making progress together.
He said that at the heart of the association’s mandate was the pursuit of law reforms, Akpata noted that the NBA was desirous of working with the Legislature to bring to bear legislation for good governance while noting that law associations are part of the legislative process in some countries.
He added that the signing of the MoU was to remedy the past situation where the NBA seemed not to be keen on working with the Legislature.
He recalled the signing into law of the Police Service Commission law as a result of the collaboration between the House and NBA following the 2020 #Endsars protests, saying it showed what collaboration of this nature can achieve.
He informed and solicited the speaker’s assistance about the Legal Practitioners’ Bill that was before the two chambers of the National Assembly.
He also commended the speaker and the House for the office space given to the NBA within the National Assembly complex.
The Special Adviser to the Speaker on Policy and Strategy, Dubem Moghalu, had earlier explained that the MoU was to formalize the ongoing operation between the Office of the Speaker and the NBA particularly on the issue of law reforms.