AFCON

National Security: Legislators Seek More Funding For Security Forces

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The National Assembly is seeking more funding for the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies, in order to tackle the menace of insecurity that has bedeviled the country.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan made the call on Tuesday, at a dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari, for all Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.

He stressed the need for more money for security as he noted that “there is no better investment in Nigeria today than investment in security,” hoping that security would have more money in the 2022 budget.

“I will like to suggest that in the 2022 appropriation bill, we should have more resources devoted to the security of this country like we have started with the supplementary budget.

“We need to build on this platform of the supplementary budget so that we are able to sustain whatever victories and triumphs our security agencies are getting today because of the improvement in the resources made available to them,” he said.

Improved Economy
Lawan observed that the nation’s economy survived many shocks because the legislature passed the national budgets in time in the last two years. 

For us in the National Assembly; in this assembly, this is going to be one of our major legacies. Today, the economy of Nigeria is what it is, an improved economy that has survived simply because we have been able to pass the budget in good time and its implementation has been done in good time too,” he added.

He advised Nigerians to aggregate their views and build a consensus on matters they want addressed in the ongoing constitution review exercise.

The Senate President said the dinner was beyond eating as the purpose was to bring together the arms of government that had worked so closely.

According to him, since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1999, no government has been so challenged by paucity of funds and myriads of other challenges facing the country.

Show of Patriotism
He said although members of the National Assembly belonged to different political parties, they have worked in brotherhood, standing together and ensuring that they are able to deliver when necessary. 

I commend my distinguished colleagues for making sure that the Senate remains focused. Right from the beginning, we decided that though our political parties and ideologies may differ, in brotherhood we must stand.

“The Senate and the House have been able to work very closely in a very harmonious and cooperative manner and that is the main reason why we were able to pass legislations and do little harmonization and get such legislations across for Presidential assent,” he said.

Lawan noted that the Senate and the House of Representatives had worked together seeing to the demolition of the “demons” that stopped the passage of critical bills such as the PIB and others in the past.

He said the legislators worked as Nigerians and as people who were there to ensure the good governance of the country.

 

In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said it was a delight that they could sit with the Executive not over official matters but to eat.

He said he was proud of all members of the House, singling out opposition members who he said were engaging in constructive opposition “as they watch their number deplete daily,” saying: “As we move towards 2023, I hope their colour will change. I wait for them.”

 In the face of adversity, they have been amazing and truly patriotic in putting national interest above all others, by supporting this government when it comes to crunch time. I salute and I doff my hat to them,” Gabjabiamila added.

He praised the effort of the National Assembly especially on the passage of the PIB, assuring that before the National Assembly goes on break on Thursday, the Electoral Act amendment would be passed.

Legislators from all political parties in the legislature were invited for the event.

It was the first time members of the National Assembly from across parties would be hosted by the President in the presidential villa.

 

President Buhari had previously hosted the leadership of the legislature from time to time.

Also present at Tuesday’s occasion were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, Ministers and other senior government officials.

 

 

Nnenna.O

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