The Lagos State Government has assured residents of the Administration’s commitment in ensuring access to justice for all citizens of the State in line with its Policy.
The Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs Funlola Odunlami, disclosed this at a one-day workshop organized by the Public Advice Centre (PAC), adding that the government has always taken the lead in legislation and law reform initiatives.
She said the workshop with the theme “The Role of Public Advice Centre (PAC) in Contemporary Lagos” is aimed at enlightening members of the public on the roles of the Centre and ensure that residents of the State make use of the services of the Centre.
“Today’s workshop will therefore give members of the public a good opportunity to learn and know more of the Centre’s role, its positive impact in ensuring that rights of each individual resident of the State are well protected and guaranteed”, Odunlami stated.
The Permanent Secretary also informed the workshop that PAC as a Unit in the Ministry was established to give free legal advice and independent information to residents of the State on series of issues, adding that the Centre is also to assist in referring the citizenry to other appropriate Government and Non-Governmental Agencies to deal with other issues pertaining to the agencies.
‘In Lagos State, the protection and advancement of human right is the cornerstone of the rule of law, the Ministry therefore placed high premium on various programmes that provide free access to justice for Lagos State citizens’, she disclosed.
The Solicitor-General therefore appealed to the general public to take full advantage of the good gesture of the services provided by the Center.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanye in his paper delivered at the workshop, advocated for the decentralization of the Agency as is the case with Citizens’ Mediation Centre, expressing the need to establish offices in various Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas to ensure members of the public have access to the Center’s services.
Another speaker, Prof. Oludayo Amokaiye opined that in order to make the Centre better, proactive and responsive, the State Government needs to continuously strengthen the capacity of the Center in terms of qualified personnel and infrastructure and sustain the activities of the Centre in order to enhance the quality of service delivery which should be beneficial, efficient and cost-effective.