February 08, (THEWILL) – The Senate has passed a Bill that seeks to increase the number of Law School campuses from six to 12.
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 Kogi West Senator, Smart Adeyemi.
The passage of the Bill on Tuesday followed the adoption of the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters that considered the Bill.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, presented the report.
The existing Law School campuses are located in Lagos (Southwest); Abuja (North Central); Yola, Adamawa State (Northeast); Kano (Northwest); Enugu (Southeast) and Yenegoa, Bayelsa State (South-South).
The additional campuses approved by the Senate 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 Ifaki Law School Campus, Ekiti (South West).
Adeyemi, in his lead debate while presenting the bill, had said the additional campuses became necessary to cater for yearly increase of law graduates seeking admission into the six available law school campuses in the country.
He said, “According to the admission quota of Law Students allocated to all these Universities per year, 5,640 students are admitted yearly into their Law Faculties.
“The implication of this data is that about 5,500 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 6,510 Students yearly, which ordinarily would have been adequate to accommodate all prospective Law Graduates from the Universities, unfortunately, the less than or about 70 percent yearly performance of the Law School, has over several years accumulated about 30 percent failure yearly.
“This record implies that about 2,000 of the 6,510 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 2,000 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 carries negative financial, psychological, emotional, social and productivity implications on the Law graduates from Universities, their parents, the economy and 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.”