Insecurity: Senate seeks more funding for Nigerian Armed Forces
Edwin Akwueh, Abuja
Nigerian Senate is advocating for more funding of the Armed Forces to fight the ravaging insecurity caused by the activities of bandits, kidnappers and other criminals which it noted is the present biggest challenge in the country.
Addressing senators as they reconvened in plenary after their two-month annual recess, President of the senate Ahmad Lawan, said efforts must be made to sustain the fight against insecurity by ensuring adequate funding for security agencies in the 2022 budget to be submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari later this month to the National Assembly for consideration.
The Senate President also noted that “the fight against the security challenges in our country requires continued engagements between the National Assembly and the Executive arms of government.”
“It also requires continued engagements with citizens for the necessary and desired results to be achieved. We must therefore remain resolute and focused in achieving those. The National Assembly, indeed the federal government has no more serious challenges to tackle than insecurity today,” he added.
He also commended members of the Armed Forces for the recent success recorded in their fight against insurgency and banditry in the country, urging them to sustain the campaigns until the insurgents and bandits are rooted out completely.
“Distinguished colleagues, you would recall that we approved the supplementary budget request of the Executive in July this year, just before we proceeded for the annual summer recess. The National Assembly approved over N800 billion for our security and intelligence agencies.
“While that provision was appropriate and indeed necessary, we should sustain the trajectory of increase in funds and resources to the security sector,” he said.
Execution of Petroleum Industry Act
The Senate President while giving a breakdown of landmark legislations passed by the Ninth Assembly, underscored the need for the Implementation Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the timely execution of the Petroleum Industry Act assented to by the President on August 16, 2021.
“These were landmark Legislations targeted at enhancing the Oil and Gas Sector in our Country and improving the Electoral system in our dear Nation.
“I want to take this opportunity to urge the implementation Committee to expedite action so that our country will start to reap the benefits of the law,” he said.
Senator Lawan charged the Senate Committees on Petroleum Downstream, Petroleum Upstream, and Gas to start oversight on the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act with a view to ensuring that the Senate discharges its critical mandate of compliance with contents and dictates of the law.
On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and House of Representatives in July 2021, the Senate President announced that a Conference Committee would be set up to harmonise the two versions of the bill so as to enable its eventual transmission to the President for assent.
He added that “both chambers had done a great and patriotic job to increase the integrity and transparency of our electoral processes and procedures through these amendments.”
On efforts made by the Ninth Assembly to review the 1999 Constitution, Senator Lawan disclosed that the Constitution Review Committee would be presenting its report soon to the senate in plenary for consideration.
According to him, the amendment exercise is intended to “make Nigeria a more united and stronger Federation.”