The Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS) has commissioned a centre for security analysis.
In addition, the institute also opened a radio station known as the â€˜Democracy Radioâ€™. The station is on 104.9FM.
The radio will serve as a medium for enhancing citizensâ€™ engagement, promoting political culture, values and deepening democracy and governance in Nigeria.
Also, the centre for security analysis is expected to conduct quality academic and professional research, promote and disseminate the practice of science-based methodologies of law-making to legislative assemblies and promote critical research material and policy insights as background materials for the legislature.
The institute commissioned the two-in-one organisations in Abuja, Nigeriaâ€™s capital city, on Wednesday.
Democracy Radio Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Director General of NILDS, Abubakar Sulaiman, said the outgoing 9th National Assembly approved the establishment of the NILDS Democracy Radio, which will serve as an essential medium of enhancing citizensâ€™ engagement, promoting political culture and values and deepening democracy and governance in Nigeria.
Mr Sulaiman, a professor, said the medium would not only transmit legislative businesses but also serve as the voice of the Nigerian people.
â€˜It is my firm belief that when the full potential of the radio station is effectively utilised, it will serve as a national medium to provoke public debates leading to greater public participation in important decisions.
â€œThis is because democracy partly lies on the media to provide the citizens with accurate information that reflects the range of actors in the political and public space, thereby bridging the gap between the government and the governed,â€ he said.
The DG said that considering the digitalisation era and meeting the 21st Century technological wave, the NILDS set up an audio-visual digital studio to broadcast its FM radio programming over the internet to ensure its programmes reach a broader geographical and demographic audience.
â€œThis way, audiences all over the world can stream our radio programming live from our website, www.democracyradio.ng and also have access to archived programmes at a click of a button.
â€œThis audio-visual studio is also equipped with high-performance computers, audio systems and a multi-camera set-up that will allow us to produce informative and engaging content specifically for our podcast and YouTube channels, which will help entrench civic and political culture amongst the youth,â€ he said.
Mr Sulaiman commended the outgoing National Assembly for its support, saying, â€œHistory will be kind to this same Assembly for being supportive of yet another intellectual outfit under the National Assembly but domiciled in NILDS.â€
Centre for Security Analysis The Legislative Centre for Security Analysis, in line with fulfilling the mandate of the NILDS is to conduct quality academic and professional research, promote and disseminate the practice of science-based methodologies of law-making legislative assemblies and promote critical research material and policy insights as background materials for the legislature.
Mr Sulaiman, NILDSâ€™ DG, said the centre was a replica of the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, which has facilitated, driven and shaped Security Sector Reform (SSR) policy and programming worldwide.
According to him, the centre is also similar to the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum (US), which hosts
regular fora for international parliamentarians and government officials to learn from experts on all security-related aspects.
Mr Sulaiman said the security analysis centre was the first on the African Continent.
The centre is well-equipped with state-of-the-art teleconferencing facilities. The 20-person conference room provides capabilities for remote collaborative meetings with local and global facilitators and partners.
Speaking further, the DG said the essence of the centre cannot be over-emphasized due to the rise in violent conflict, crime and insecurity in the country and other parts of the continent of Africa.
â€œIt is expected that the Centre will be dedicated to carrying out wide-ranging functions, which include: enhancing the security of Nigerians through primary research and studies in all aspects of security in the country to determine the causes and implications and identify areas for legislative intervention; promote understanding of the security environment, share knowledge, and use that expertise to identify legislative actions and interventions; undertake tailor-made research to advance knowledge and ability of government and security as well as intelligence agencies to counter threats and incidents; produce research reports and policy briefs on
security-related issues for consideration by the National Assembly; draft security-
based Bills, Motions and Resolutions for speedy legislative consideration; Improve security incident detection through continuous monitoring and analysis of security
Mr Sulaiman, who has just been appointed for a second term in office, said the centre benefit would not have been realised without the commitment and support of the leadership of the 9th Assembly.
â€œWe hope that these two outfits, a legacy of the 9th Assembly, would be of greater relevance to deepening democracy, stimulating public interest in legislative businesses and further provide useful information to the Parliament on security related sectors.
READ ALSO:Â Buhari appoints security adviser â€œIt is on this note, therefore, that I wis specially thank the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, PhD., GCON, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, H.E, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, CFR and the Governing Council members of NILDS for their continuous support, dedication and commitment as true patriots and promoters of democracy who are determined to consolidate the practice of democracy in Nigeria and strengthen the legislative institution,â€ he said.
Dignitaries at the occasion included the senate president, Ahmad Lawan; Philip Aduda, a senator; Reps members; former INEC chairperson, Attahiru Jega; and NBC DG, Bello Ilelah, among others.