The pragmatic leadership of the Director-General of Legal Aid Council (LAC) Mr Aliyu Abubakar is worthy of emulation. He has restructured the council and set pace for others.
Recently he organised a two-day eye check/visual screening for members of the staff .The staff that have their eyes checked were from Gwagwalada Office, Bwari, Karu, Area 3, FCT and headquarters staff. About sixty staff were examined and treatment recommended while those for eye glasses were attended to. The eye we all know is the king of the body and when it is affected by any of the eye diseases. It becomes a big challenge.
Speaking on the occassion in Abuja,the Director Human Resources Management, Mr. Ibrahim Abdul represented by the Assistant director Admin,Mrs Obiamaka Ugoh addressed the staff of the council and explained that the essence of the exercise is to make sure that the staff are fit enough, health wise to continue their humanitarian services to the Nation. She encouraged the staff to follow up with whatever treatment that will be recommended because health is wealth and as such, it is only a healthy person that can talk of rendering services. She, went further to assure the staff that the treatment is well discounted and subsidized. After the brief, the Assistant Director introduced the Opthalmologist Mr. Ojieasu Innocent from Elinno clear vision eye clinic, who first of all appreciated the management for giving him the opportunity to collaborate with the council in then discussed various eye challenges, symptoms and options for treatments. Among the diseases discussed are refraction errors such as myopia, hyperopia and presbyobia which diagnosis conditions include cataracts a disease in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy causing partial or total blindness. The treatment is operation which may not last up to 30 minutes.
Glaucoma: A challenge of the eye causing gradual loss at sight. He said that this very eye problem is usually hereditary and anybody that falls victim of it should present the entire family for eye check for early dictation and treatment. It can be operated or controlled with eye drops depending on the level. He encouraged the staff to always have their eyes checked every 3 months and if you are already on glasses every 2 years. Thereafter, he commenced visual screening for staff. The exercise was well appreciated by the staff which comprises, management, lawyers, non lawyers and the drivers.
In the same vein, promotion is said to be a privilege and not a right and as such a reward for excellence. In fulfillment of this, the council conducted promotion interview for 2021 set, shortly after that held another one for the 2022 set. A good amount of money was spent by the chief executive who sacrificed other issues that needed attention and invited close to 400 staff across the country for promotion exercise and equally invited and hosted the council’s board members twice within a space of 2 months why? Because the board has to seat to approve for the writing of the promotion interview and rectification of the result. This was just to make sure that the issue of promotion which has been lingering for years and even made virtually all the staff to loose one year while some Senior staff in Deputy Directors Cadre stayed close to 8-12 years before being promoted to the Director level due to Vacancy and lack of funds and so on. The most interesting thing now is that no more promotion quagmire as the staff will hence forth write promotion interviews as at when do. In fact, promotion in public service has always been a problem in various ministries and parastatals. However, the issue will soon be over as there is an effort towards that.
The Legal Aid Council remains the official voice of the voiceless. A parastatals under the Ministry of Justice established for the sole aim of helping the poor in the society who cannot afford the services of the private practitioner due to lack of fund. The council provides access to justice to this group of people either by providing them with legal advice or representation in court. Another interesting thing also is that Legal Aid through her OSCAR Department help accident victims who met the requirement to make their claims from the insurance companies.