As the new Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) , Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, is set to reposition the Institute for better performance efficiency, staffers are gripped with fears of possible exposure on incompetence or redundancy.
This is as the Director General declared in his speech to mark his 100 days in office that a committee has been set up to carry out staff audit and that, specialised units to be headed by seasoned and accomplished Professors in relevant field of specialisation, will be created .
Professor Sulaiman in the Speech delivered said, “I have prioritized staff training and initiated measures to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of staff. As it stands, about 40 staff have benefited from foreign and national training programmes.
“Also, you may recall, I promised upon assumption of office, to embark on a comprehensive staff audit exercise to maintain rigorous systems of internal control and accountability as well as mitigating the risk of being liable for unfair employee practices.
“In keeping with this promise, it is my pleasure to announce that a 5-Man (independent) Committee, comprising seasoned experts will be inaugurated next week to carry out this task.
“As the capacity building arm of the Nigerian legislature, it is important to hire and retain staff who have the credibility and credentials to handle issues within their remit.
” NILDS is a research institution with national and international aspirations; therefore, the competence and qualifications of staff are crucial.
“NILDS will fail if the credentials of staff do not elicit public confidence. Restructuring Given the importance of NILDS as a key player in Nigeria’s consolidation of democracy and democratic process, I am officially announcing a realignment of its organizational structure, in seeking better ways to deliver on its mandate.
“While this realignment may not address all of NILDS current problems, it represents a creative preliminary effort that will usher in other pragmatic solutions that will make NILDS better and more effective.
“As we grow and evolve, it is necessary to continually transform processes; analyze and assess cumulative effects; improve knowledge and streamline systems.
“This reorganization, therefore, is intended simply to provide world-class services that support and sustain dynamism. With the expanded mandate of the Institute in 2018, the need to review its organogram has become urgent and inevitable, hence, the proposed creation of Four (4) new Departments and Units.
“A major component of such is the International Cooperation unit. These departments will be headed by seasoned and accomplished professionals, with solid track record of excellence in academics. I consider it anomalous and uninspiring for someone who is not a professor to head a vital unit of the institute. NILDS is a unique Institution and should be a haven for accomplished scholars, not a refuge for those who cannot attain the highest standards of excellence”.
He however, said with the support of the Staff and leadership of the National Assembly , NILDS had within the last 100 days, become more visible in all areas of its mandates as an intellectual arm of the National Assembly .
Part of the visibility strides made according to him were capacity building workshops conducted for Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Chairmen and members of National and State Houses of Assembly Service Commissions, intensive and proficiency training for official reporters at the National and State Houses of Assembly etc .
But the repositioning move is sending jitters down the spines of some of staffers of the Institute .
One of the staffers who pleaded anonymity said, ” We are not against repositioning of the Institute for better performance or performances of its mandates but sidelining of anyone in the process, is what we fear.”