The Senate has approved the establishment of seven new campuses of the Nigerian Law School across the six geopolitical zones of the country, in addition to the existing seven.
The NLS now has 14 campuses including that of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Smart Adeyemi, sponsored the bill.
Approval of the new law schools followed the consideration and adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Legal Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
The seven additional campuses in Kabba, Kogi State and Jos, Plateau State (North-central); Maiduguri, Borno State (North-East); Argungu, Kebbi State (North-west); Okija, Anambra State (South-East); Orogun, Delta State (South-south), and Ilawe, Ekiti (South-West).
The existing law school campuses are located in Lagos (South-west), Abuja (North-Central, Yola – Adamawa (North-east), Kano (North-west), Enugu (South-east) Port Harcourt and Yenagoa – Bayelsa State (South-south).
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, said creation of the new school campuses was a legislative intervention to address “the exponential increase in the number of law graduates from our universities and foreign ones, coupled with the backlog that existed over the years.”
Bamidele added that the “existing campuses are overstretched and the infrastructures are not enough to accommodate thousands of law students graduating from the universities.”
The senator observed that the United States of America, with a population of over 350 million people, has about 237 law schools.
The lawmaker noted that some countries such as Canada and Australia, with less population than Nigeria, have 24 and 38 law schools for a population of about 38 million and 26 million people, respectively.
Bamidele explained that the provision for additional campuses in the six geopolitical zones of the federation was appropriate as it does not tamper with the seven existing campuses established by administrative responsibilities of the Council of Legal Education.
The lawmaker, therefore, advised the Federal Government to, as a matter of priority, provide adequate resources for the funding of the Infrastructural needs of the law campuses across the country.