The Legislative Internship Programme (LIP) is a three-year programme of the ALF Parliamentary Support Institute (PSI) aimed at consolidating and institutionalising the norms and principles of liberal democracy in Nigeria. It is specifically designed to provide young Nigerians and students in higher institutions across the six geo – political zones of Nigeria with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with parliamentary structures and processes with a view to encouraging them to consider parliamentary career either as future parliamentarians or parliamentary support staff.
Provide opportunity for young leaders to sharpen their skills in participatory democratic governance;
Expose young Nigerian men and women to the workings of the parliament;
Encourage young Nigerians to consider a parliamentary career either as future parliamentarians or parliamentary support staff.
To reposition the Legislative Assemblies of those selected states for sustainable development;
To facilitate a more coordinated approach to training of parliamentarians in Nigeria;
Expose parliamentary support staff to best practices in legislation and functional networking framework and linkages with parliaments in Africa and other parts of the world;
Imbue parliamentary support staff with technical, research and other documentary skills that would support and enhance parliamentary development;
Imbue parliamentary support staff with requisite expertise on provision of logistical and technical backstopping for parliamentarians including, among others, skills such as legislative, administrative, research and drafting skills.
Specifically, the Legislative Internship Programme (LIP) is a three-phased programme, made up of
(i) a 2 – day Briefing/Orientation workshop,
(ii) 21 – day attachment with Legislative Assemblies and
(iii) a 2 – day Debriefing/Experience Sharing workshop.
The 21 – day attachment involved an attachment with either the National Assembly or State Legislative Houses depending on the proximity of Interns’ places of residence through the office of the Clerk of participating legislative Houses. The 2007-09 attachment with legislative Assemblies was attained continuously or compositely by Interns within a period of sixty days.
Method of Application:
Selection of participants for Legislative Internship Programme is based on the 2-page resume submitted by participants describing themselves, place of residence, profession, state of origin plus an essay of about 300 words on the topic “Nigeria: the Workings of a Democratic Government”
Condition for Participation:
Selected participants are required to cover their own travel expenses to and from the workshop venue during the 2 – day Briefing/Orientation Workshop and 2 – day Debriefing/Experience Sharing Workshop. While the Africa Leadership Forum takes responsibility for participant’s accommodation, feeding and paid a stipend to cover transportation during the 21 – day attachment.
The benefits of ALF LIP are both educational and experiential. The Briefing/Orientation workshop is designed to expose the beneficiaries to the theoretical underpinnings of the parliament, while the 21 – day practical internship session will expose interns to the practical workings of the Parliament. It is expected that observation of and direct participation in the parliamentary procedures and processes will reinforce the theoretical session and enhance participants’ understanding of the parliament.
All together, an average of one thousand eight hundred (1800) applications were received across the Nigerian federation per LIP between 2007 and 2009, but only forty (40) people were selected and trained in line with the LIP budget. Twenty two State Legislative Assemblies also received Interns. However, among the State Legislative Assemblies that participated, eight (8) is the north, while rest from the southern part of Nigeria.
Results of LIP Internship Programme:
At the end of each of the 2-day Briefing/Orientation workshop, Interns were posted to different Legislative Houses for 21-day attachment. And with the completion of the attachment, Intern returned for another 2-day Debriefing/Experience Sharing workshop.
The Experience Sharing involved in the first day, presentations by each Intern and submission of a written report on the activities in the Assembly. While the second day, was characterised by delivery of papers by selected personalities.
Generally, the presentations were focused on the issues, challenges, opportunities and plans for the future. Most of them had wonderful experiences though they complained about financial difficulties. While in the Assembly, the interns were assigned to Parliamentarians, House Committees, and different legislative departments and were allowed to sit in the gallery during House sittings. With the aid of the Log Book, interns were able to keep records of daily activities in the House. The direct observation and participations in the works of the Assembly significantly helped to deepen interns’ understanding of the parliament and equally reinforced the weight of knowledge gained in the Briefing/Orientation workshop.