Following debates and inputs from Members of the House of Representatives at plenary, Thursday, in Abuja,the Bill to Repeal and Re-Enact the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, sponsored by the Member representing Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency and Chairman,House Committee on Foreign Affairs,Rt.Hon.( Dr.) Yusuf Buba Yakub, got past the consideration stage of the House of Representatives.
Speaking on the Bill,Buba emphasised that the intention of the Bill was to,among other things,broaden its functions and operations and upgrade the Institute to a Master’s Degree and Post Graduate Diploma-awarding institution , especially, for those who have the intention of specializing in the area of International Relations and Diplomacy. Another reason,the Adamawa-born lawmaker added,was to also help to reposition our Foreign Service by providing a platform for scientific research on strategic national foreign policy goals and initiatives for global engagements.
” Since this Institute was established in 1961, its laws have not been amended and the place has become obsolete. Its infrastructure can no longer be said to function and year after year what is allocated to the place in the budget is ,at best, laughable. This Institute was supposed to promote the scientific study of Nigeria’s international policy,which is key to our engagements with the outside world,but today it is no longer what it used to be.”
If the Bill is passed into law,,it will mark a radical departure from the colourlessness that has characterised the activities of the Institute in many past years. The Institute will also be the first of its kind in training experts in International Relations and Diplomacy at such a high level outside some conventional Higher Institutions in Nigeria.
With the overwhelming support of Members,the Bill was slated for another legislative session for Third Reading,after which it will be sent to the Senate for concurrence and subsequent Presidential Assent before it becomes an Act of Parliament.
Barr Abdulkadir Iliyasu
Legislative Aide to Rt.Hon.Buba.