The Legislative Internship Programme (LIP)
The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) through its Parliamentary Support Institute Nigeria (PSIN) supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy Nigeria, in 2007 initiated and delivered a three months Legislative Internship Programme (LIP) for young Nigerians between September and November, 2007 and also in 2008 from October - February, 2009.
The Legislative Internship Programme (LIP) is a three years (2007 – 2009) programme of the ALF Parliamentary Support Institute Nigeria (PSIN) aimed at consolidating and institutionalising the norms and principles of liberal democracy in Nigeria. The LIP 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 them with parliamentary structures and processes with a view to encouraging them to consider parliamentary career either as future parliamentarians or parliamentary support staff. With objectives that include the provision of opportunity for young leaders to sharpen their skills in participatory democratic governance.
Specifically, the Legislative Internship Programme (LIP) is a three-phased programme, made up of (i) 2–day Briefing and Orientation workshop, (ii) a 21-day attachment with Legislative Assemblies and (iii) 2–day Debriefing/Experience Sharing session. The 21-day internship involved attachment of the Interns with Legislative Houses nearness to the Intern’s places of residence through the office of the Clerk of a participating Legislative House. Interns are only allowed to complete the 21–day attachment continuously or compositely within a period of sixty (60) days, from October to November, 2008.
In all, one thousand and two (1,002) applications were received across the federation but only forty (40) people were selected and trained according to the budget. Out of the thirty six (36) state Houses of Assembly plus the National Assembly contacted, only twenty (20) of them accepted and granted Interns the opportunity to embark on 21-day attachment in their respective Assembly. The Legislative Houses that participated in the programme included in the north; Kano, Niger, Bauchi, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Taraba, Kebbi, Sokoto, Gombe, FCT and Zamfara. While in the southern part of Nigeria, states like Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Oyo and Cross River participated fully.
Among the forty (40) Interns, eight are women, and nine are alumni of ALF Democratic Leadership Training Workshop (DLTW). See figure 1 and 2.