BusinessDay

Reps, NBA sign MoU on law reform

The office of the speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on law reform.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila underscored the importance of collaboration between public institutions and the private sector as such partnerships promote good governance and sustainable development.

According to Gbajabiamila, 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, so we’ve got to maximise our efforts and potential to bold, bigger and better things for this country.

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“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 emphasising 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, Olumide Akpata appreciated the speaker and the House for being most accommodating with regards to collaboration and the potential of making progress together.

Akpata said the NBA is 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 said the signing of the MoU was to remedy the past situation where the NBA seemed not to be keen on working with the legislature, adding that at the heart of the association’s mandate is the pursuit of law reforms,

The NBA president solicited the speaker’s assistance for the enactment of the legal practitioners’ bill that is currently before the two chambers of the National Assembly.

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