PACFaH@Scale meeting with Director General-National Institute for Legislative & Democratic Studies
The National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, is poised to enhance the legislative agenda for improved healthcare delivery in Nigeria by strengthening strategic partnerships, building consensus around healthcare reforms and increasing the capacities of legislators. According to Professor Abubakar Suleman, Executive Director, NILDS will continue to work with the development, Research and Project Center (dRPC) through the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale, PACFaH@Scale or PAS, and other strategic partners including civil society organizations and the donor community to accomplish this objective. Professor Suleiman, disclosed this when he received a delegation from the dRPC in his office early September. dRPC’s Senior Technical Advisor, Dr. Stanley Ukpai, who represented the Executive Director, Dr. Judith-Ann Walker, led the delegation.
At the meeting with the dRPC delegation, Professor Suleman said Nigeria’s Federal Government will prioritize healthcare funding in the 2020 budget. In a bid to scale-up its legislative agenda for healthcare, the current leadership of NILDS pledged to consolidate the work done by the preceding administration in the institute to improve legislative focus and actions on healthcare. To facilitate the scale-up process, NILDS engaged the services of a professor of medicine assigned with responsibilities that include the establishment of a unit that will focus on healthcare as legislative agenda, and launch capacity building initiative for legislators at the federal and state levels. Consequently, NILDS plans to conduct workshops on health reforms for legislators at the national, states and local government levels. This is in addition to a roundtable for the senate and House of Representatives committees on health. These efforts would be anchored on partnerships Said Professor Suleiman, ““We are seeking to build a sustainable partnership that will not only concentrate on the National Assembly but will consider creating partnerships with donors and with the state assemblies.’
In response to a request for PACFaH@Scale to support NILDS’ workplan, the Executive Director of dRPC-PACFaH@Scale, Dr Judith Ann Walker, represented by Dr Stanley Ukpai, the Senior Technical Adviser, said the project was ready to support the implementation of the institute’s workplan, and strengthen the ongoing collaboration between the project and the institute. NILDS’ Director of Research highlighted areas of collaboration envisaged between the institute and PAS. These areas include
- focus on healthcare law reviews and reform in the national assembly, by senate and house committee members of health.
- Organization of a roundtable for the senate and members of the House of Representative health committee.
- Training workshop for the senate and house committee legislative aides, staffs and clerks on health budget proposals.
- Update and publication of all dRPC-NILDS health-related Bills drafted, analyzed, amd synthesized intro one single publication for the guidance of the National Assembly, CSOs and others.
NILDS sees the partnership with PAS as an avenue for facilitating a better ninth assembly. “As an agency created to build the capacities of the legislators, we encourage partnerships with non-profit like you and look forward to expanding this existing relationship for a better 9th national assembly’ Professor Suleiman noted.
In 2014, dRPC, under the first phase of PACFaH, supported members of the senate committee on health to travel to South Africa to study legislative processes.
The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) is an organ of the National Assembly established by an Act of Parliament. President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the National Institute for Legislative Studies Act 2011 on March 2nd, 2011 following the passage of the same by the Senate and the House of Representatives.