Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has called on security agencies in the country to contribute towards ensuring stronger institutions in the country to guarantee the survival of the nation’s democracy.
Saraki made the call when members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) Nine of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Bwari Abuja, visited the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said that any society where laws are not enforced or people made to account for their actions will end up with weakened institutions.
He noted that the theme of the Executive Intelligence Management Course nine which is: “Institutional Weakness: Challenge to the Change Agenda” could not have come at a better time than now when the present administration is making efforts to address the myriad of security and economic challenges confronting the country.
Saraki said: “The need to strengthen our institutions cannot be overemphasised as it is a cardinal aspect for the sustenance of democracy and development.
“Challenges that arise as a result of weak institutions among which are; reduced motivation and productivity – loss of organisational purpose, dysfunctional government budgets, abuse of public office and corruption, are too numerous to mention here.
“The weakening of government institutions has thrived mainly because of the ineffectiveness of responsible authorities to enforce our laws and hold people accountable for their actions.
“On the other hand, when institutions are strengthened, we would witness higher economic, political and social development.
“As executives and senior officials, who have a very crucial role in the running of the affairs of government, it is important that you are properly acquainted with the expectations and programmes of government and more so on the need to value and respect government institutions. That is the only way, you can set the right precedent for others to follow,” he said.
He commended the DSS for establishing the institution which he said has become a unique forum to encourage not only inter-security and intelligence agencies cooperation, but also participants drawn from other strategic agencies of government.
“The institute is therefore a professional and highly specialised forum for the training of leaders, and for graduates to advise those in authority to take positive decisions to address our challenges as a nation.
“No doubt at the end of your course we trust that Government would have the advantage of being provided with a sound report on the way forward,” he said.
He added that the legislative agenda of the 8th Senate is replete with programmes that are geared towards providing support to the present Administration’s change agenda.
The Senate President also said that in support of the fight against corruption and to better the living standards of the people, the National Assembly has accorded priority to the accelerated passage of bills that would have the highest and direct impact on Nigerians.
“The Senate and indeed the Legislature fully supports this enterprise and will do everything necessary to help in achieving the mission of the institution as well as its objective,” he said.
Earlier, the Director of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Mr. Matthew Seiyefa told the Senate President that the institute was founded in 2008 by the State Security Service (SSS) to broaden and deepen the intellectual horizon of its members.
However, he said the scope of the institute has now been broadened and extended to accommodate other agencies of government in view of the present peculiar security situation in the country.
According to him, the theme for the EIMC 9 is geared towards identifying the weaknesses in the nation’s institutions and how to rectify them and make them stronger players in the democratic setting.
He noted that the 50 participants of the Course Nine were drawn from 18 agencies, including the DSS, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Assembly, Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) and the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.