The Senate has started to take steps to ensure that all Nigerian law schools are beneficiaries of tax funds for education with the amendment of the Trust Fund for Tertiary Education Act of 2007.
Consequently, the Senate has introduced “A bill to amend the Trust Fund for Tertiary Education Act of 2007.”
The Escalated Bill in second reading yesterday in the Senate.
In his main debate on the bill, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele, sponsor of APC Ekiti Central, said that the bill that was first read in the Senate floor on Thursday, May 28, 2020, seeks to amend the Sections 4, 7 and 20 of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, etc.) Act 2011 (hereinafter the “Principal Law”)
He said the amendment also seeks to add the Nigerian Law School, as one of the beneficiary tertiary institutions in Nigeria, for the purpose of disbursing the education tax, under the law.
According to him, the bill specifically seeks to amend Article 4 of the main law by inserting “Nigerian Law School”, as one of the tertiary institutions, to benefit from TETFUND interventions.
Senator Bamidele said: “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues; As an appropriate context and historical basis for the proposed amendment, it is imperative to note here that the Report of the Unsworth Committee on Legal Education, which recommended the establishment of an indigenous law school for the professional training of aspiring lawyers in Nigeria, conceived the Nigerian Law School as a tertiary institution with the sole mandate of bridging the gap between academic law studies at Nigerian or foreign universities and the practical application of law.
“On this basis, it is incumbent on the Nigerian Law School to ensure that students adapt their academic knowledge to the conditions of practice, introducing them to the practical skills and techniques of legal practice.
“It cannot be denied that the Nigerian Law School is the sole institution responsible for the professional training of lawyers in Nigeria. Without a doubt, he has a critical legal responsibility considering that lawyers play a leading role in the socio-economic situation of the country.
Perhaps lawyers, as judges, in private or corporate practice, in academia or in government, immensely shape society and the lives of their fellow men. Notably, over five decades, since the establishment of the Nigerian Law School, the institution that began operating in January 1963 with only 8 students in its monocampus in Lagos, has rapidly expanded to become a Faculty. of Law from various campuses. with its headquarters now in Bwari, Abuja and five (5) other campuses in Lagos, Enugu Kano, Bayelsa and Yola.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues; The expansion of the Nigerian Law School from its former single campus system to the current multiple campus law school was necessary due to the increasing demand for space at the school.
“This inevitable expansion, of course, has its associated challenges, such as the increasing demand for adequate learning facilities, including conference rooms, electronic library, and deployment of ICT across multiple campuses to enhance learning, provision of hostel accommodation and other infrastructure facilities suitable for global competitive lawyer training in Nigeria. In fact, the training of the 21st century lawyer is becoming increasingly expensive, hence the need for this Distinguished Senate to consider the inclusion of the Nigerian Law School, as one of the tertiary institutions that will benefit from the projects. of TETFUND’s infrastructural intervention, which is the main thrust of this amendment “.