By Adedeji Fakorede
Lagos State Government has perfected plans to launch an online platform where people all over the world can access the laws enacted by the State since 1967 till date.
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, state governor, who made the announcement at the formal launch of Laws of Lagos State 2015, said the online platform would not only enable investors and would-be investors to make informed decision about investing in the State, but would also help them to appreciate the various legal protections available for their persons and investment.
The Governor said that the Law Reform Commission of the State was saddled with the task of developing the online platform, adding that the development was geared towards promoting a platform for accountability and responsibility thereby fulfilling the obligation of the government to create easy access to the laws of the State.
From the online platform, people from any part of the world can easily access and download all the laws in the State since inception in 1967, the Governor said.
While alluding to the fact that Lagos has always taken the lead in legislation and law reform initiatives in Nigeria, Governor Ambode said the need for legislation to be up to date and relevant could not be over-emphasised in ensuring the necessary legal infrastructure for socio-economic transformation.
The further said: “The publication of the 2015 Laws of the State, marks the beginning of the process of continually making the Laws accessible to the general public not only in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole, but also beyond its borders globally.”
“Furthermore, the publication of the Laws of Lagos State is a step in the direction of the justice and security sector reforms which the present administration promised it will pursue in order to strengthen the rule of law in Lagos State,” Governor Ambode stated.
Earlier, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, State attorney general and commissioner for Justice, explained that the decision of government to embark on aggressive and extensive law reform was strongly informed by the need to avail the citizenry the opportunity of being properly guided and informed through the laws, which in turn, would enhance the effectiveness of the laws, the efficacy of the judicial system and form the platform for economic and infrastructural transformation of the State.
He said that a prominent feature of the 2015 laws is that textual amendments of archaic and colloquial words were replaced with other words for simplicity and clarity of meaning, adding: “Words like ‘therewith’, ‘therein’, ‘herewith’, ‘hereto’, ‘hereinafter’ and words of like nature where appropriate have been simplified. Gender specific pronouns were replaced with gender-neutral language.”
“Furthermore, obsolete references to military, colonial, imperial or legal orders, offices or institutions have also been substituted with contemporary offices and institutions,” Kazeem explained.
The 2015 Laws of Lagos State was put together in partnership with Thomson Reuters.
On her part, the Managing Director of Thomson Reuters in Africa, Sneha Shah commended the Lagos State Law Reform Commission for coming up with great content that was published by her organization, adding that she was proud to work with great minds in the Commission.
She said Lagos is leading in many ways not just in Nigeria, but in Africa, and that the State had exhibited progressive tenets in many areas.