LAC STAFF PARLEY WITH THE DIRECTOR GENERAL

It was a joyful moment on the 13th of March 2019 as Staff and Management of Legal Aid Council held a meeting with the Newly Appointed Director General, Mr. Aliyu Bagudu Abubakar.

The Director General in his opening remarks thanked the staff for honouring his invitation for the meeting. He pointed out that the reason for the parley was to familiarize himself with staff and chart the way forward for the Council. He told staff that he has been a Lawyer for the past 31years and sees his appointment as a privilege for him to contribute his quota for the improvement of the Council. On assumption of duty, the DG said he received a Handover Note from Mr. Tunde Ikusagba the then Acting DG, and briefings from Departmental Heads and Unit Heads concerning the challenges facing the Council and he immediately swung into action to resolve some of the issues. While responding to questions from staff, the DG highlighted some of the issues he was able to resolve within the few months he assumed duty which include:

  1. Promotion: The DG said before his assumption of office there were promotion issues for year 2016, 2017 and 2018. He sought the intervention and approval of Ministry of Justice and the issue has been resolved.
  2. Conditions of Service: The DG said efforts have been made and the Council Conditions of Service have been approved by Ministry of Justice and that the file will be forwarded to the relevant agency for final implementation.
  3. Working Grants and Authority to Incurre Expenditure (AIE): He told staff that, he has given instructions that henceforth working grants should be paid to all Lawyers as long as the Council gets overhead releases from Federal Government. The same thing will be applicable to payment of AIE to Council offices across the zones, states and centres in the country.
  4. Outstanding Debts: The DG said he has instructed the Head of Finance and Accounts Department to pay all backlog debts owed retiree staff and those transferred from different locations since 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Other areas that are receiving attention of the new DG includes; LAC Access to Justice Fund that is captured in the 2011 Legal Aid Act, training of staff, availability of staff bus, payment of overtime allowances which shall be restricted to certain officers due to the exigencies of their duties. On Law Reports, The DG said that the Council cannot afford all the volumes of Law Reports due to lack of funds. Attendance of annual Bar Conference will be done rotationally. Prison decongestion; efforts are being made to see how the Council can secure prison decongestion funds from Ministry of Justice.  

At the end of the meeting, staff were advice to be dedicated to work and cooperate with the new DG to make him succeed in the overall interest of the Councils mandate.