ECOWAS restates commitment to economic development of sub-region

The Secretary General, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Nelson Magbagbeola, has assured of the commitment of the body to the economic prosperity and development of the sub-region.

Speaking at a NILS-CAP Regional training for parliamentary staff in Abuja on Monday, he described parliament as the bedrock of representative democracy.

Specifically, Magbagbeola said building a corps of skilled and resourceful parliament is a realistic way of promoting democracy in the sub-region.

While calling for regular training of parliamentary staff, Magbagbeola said legislative drafting is a veritable instrument for disseminating policies of government.

“Legislative drafting goes beyond the act of merely putting legislation on paper, it is a unique form of writing and the drafter is saddled with the task of ensuring that the proposed legislation achieves the policy objective in a legally effective way. Successful legislative drafting is the final result of a constant process of thinking, composing, consulting, and reviewing with persistent focus on the objectives to be achieved. Legislation must clearly explain what the target groups need to know.

“Legislative drafting is, therefore, a veritable instrument for distilling and ventilating policies of government. It is a critical aspect of lawmaking in any organized society. Effective legislative drafting leads to better understanding and interpretation of legislation by stakeholders including the judiciary. The legislative drafter is thus faced with the challenge of not only expressing legislative intention appropriately, but also ensuring that the legislation is well comprehended by its subjects and perfectly interpreted by the courts,” he said.

On her part, the Director General, National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Ladi Hamalai, a professor of Development Studies, said the workshop is intended to equip participants with the skills of translating policies into legislation, improve their knowledge of policy formulation as well as enhance their understanding of legislative practice and procedure in ECOWAS sub-region.

The workshop, which has the theme: ‘Translating Policy into Legislation: Techniques for Drafting Legislative Bills’, is organised by NILS in collaboration with the ECOWAS Parliament.

A total of 60 participants drawn from the National parliaments of 15 member countries of ECOWAS, NILS attended the event.

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