A Bill seeking to increase the number of the Nigerian Law School campuses in the country from six to 12 has scaled second reading at the Senate.
The Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Legal Education (Consolidation etc.) Act by establishing the campuses for the Nigerian Law School, and for other related matters” was sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi.
Leading the debate on the bill, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adeyemi said it had become necessary to establish six additional Law School campuses to cater for yearly increases of law graduates seeking admission into the six available law school campuses in the country.
He said based on the admission quota of Law Students allocated to Universities annually, 5640 students are admitted yearly into their Law Faculties.
According to him: “The implication of this data is that, about 5500 Law Graduates are produced from the 55 Universities yearly. It should be noted that while the records of the Nigerian Law School indicates that it has the capacity to admit 6510 Students yearly, which ordinarily would have been adequate to accommodate all prospective Law Graduates from the Universities, unfortunately, the
less than or about 70 per cent yearly performance of the Law School, has over several years accumulated about 30 per cent failure yearly.
“This record implies that about 2000 of the 6510 admitted yearly have to repeat the School for another year, with no automatic guarantee of making it on the second attempt.
“A five-year analysis of this spillover of about 2000 students amounts to 10,000, while it builds up to 20,000 over a period of 10 years. The consequences of the situation narrated above carry negative financial, psychological, emotional, social and productivity implications on the Law graduates from Universities, their parents, the economy and the government of Nigeria.
“In the last five years or more, Law graduates are made to wait for between two to four years, awaiting admission into the Nigerian Law School, due to lack of vacancy to admit them into the few campuses available.
“Much as the standard of the Nigerian Law School has been one of the best across the globe, any attempt to stretch its admission
capacity beyond its facilities and human resources will be counterproductive as it will negatively affect the welfare and performance of the students.
“Also, to allow the present situation persist for the next few more years will spell doom for this nation in several ways.
“In view of the imminent disaster in our legal industry, this amendment to the Nigerian Council of Legal Education Act is to encourage the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase the number of campuses of the Nigerian Law School to 12, at the minimum, by establishing additional one each in the six Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria.”
The existing law school campuses are located in Lagos (South West), Abuja (North Central, Yola – Adamawa – (North East), Kano (North West), Enugu (South East) and Yenegoa – Bayelsa State – (South-South).
The ranking Senator named the six additional campuses being proposed to include Kabba Law School Campus, Kogi (North Central); Maiduguri Law School Campus, Borno (North East); Argungu Law School Campus, Kebbi (North West); Okija Law School Campus, Anambra (South East); Orogun Law School Campus, Delta (South-South) and Ilawe Law School Campus, Ekiti (South West).
Senators in their contribution supported the Bill and approved that it be read for a second time when it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan.
Lawan later referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters headed by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele for further legislative work and is to report back to Senate plenary in four weeks.