Can NCMD bridge the gap created by extensive deployment of security agents?

President Muhammadu Buhari, this week, launched the National Crisis Management Doctrine (NCMD) to bridge the gap created by the extensive deployment of security services by fostering collaboration amongst Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

According to the President, the security challenges confronting Nigeria stretch the deployment of security agencies, resources and national security apparatus.
It should be noted that the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2022 highlights that terrorism remains a serious threat, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 48% of total global deaths from terrorism.
Four of the 10 countries with the largest increases in deaths from terrorism come from sub-Saharan Africa.

It should also be noted that the 2020 Global Terrorism Index placed Nigeria as the third country worst hit by the negative outcomes of terrorists’ activities.
The Index shows that terrorism is becoming increasingly concentrated, contracting into countries already suffering from violent conflict. Conflict zones accounted for 97% of all deaths. The 10 countries most affected by terrorism are all in conflict zones.

Of course, it is easy to understand that Nigeria is among the worst hit countries and why it needs to put its acts together to bail the country from insecurity.
From Boko Haram in the northeast, banditry and criminal kidnapping in the North-west to the secessionist agitations in the South-east and South-west, the security system in Nigeria is practically overstretched.

The NCMD, developed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in coordination with some MDAs, would ensure greater success in tackling these national crises.
Thus, with the introduction of the NCMD, a development that signifies a milestone in the nation’s collective efforts to achieve a coordinated, effective and efficient national crisis management, Nigeria is now set to adequately confront its numerous security challenges.

‘‘This shows the renewed promise and commitment of this administration to managing crisis in the country,’’ the President said, urging ONSA to continue to play its coordinating role amongst crisis response stakeholders to achieve greater successes.

The President thanked the British government for its collaboration in the development of the doctrine and the United States government for its support, urging them to sustain the relationship.
And, rightly so, thanks should go to all persons and agencies and countries that have contributed to the realisation of the nation’s bid to develop a concerted means to deal with the insecurity challenges now plaguing our country – Nigeria.

No doubt, collaboration among security agencies, the lack of which has hampered the country’s efforts to defeat insecurity, will help prevent insecurity in Nigeria.
It should be noted that the need for law enforcement agencies to cooperate in developing strategies toward strengthening Nigeria’s internal security architecture and making the country safe and secure cannot be stressed.
While, on the other hand, the lack of synergy is one of the factors militating against the successful fight against banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, and poor inter-agency collaboration among Nigeria’s security institutions is one of the major factors militating against effective conflict resolution and security management.
The consequences of not working effectively together culminate in increasing fear of insecurity and diminished trust in the capabilities of the security system to protect the lives and property of civilian populations across the country in general and terror zones in particular.
Therefore, it is high time security agencies dropped the toga of service supremacy and replace it with a more reliable template for a more cordial relationship among all stakeholders involved in the fight against insecurity in order to restore the confidence of Nigerians in all security and law enforcement agencies.

In the same vein, the call for the establishment of a robust, concise and reliable intelligence-based fusion centre to win the fight against insecurity confronting the nation cannot be overemphasized.
Ideally, the establishment of the crime fusion centre will help law enforcement agencies to share resources, expertise and information. Security agencies in Nigeria must, therefore, close ranks and eliminate rivalry. Security is arrived at when every part of the security system including police, army, NSCDC, NDLEA, immigration, customs and others discharges its roles efficiently and balances its weaknesses with the strength of other security agencies.

Inferiority complex and superiority battles between and among security agencies, undoubtedly, aggravate the insecurity of everyone and deepen national insecurity.

A new dawn at RMAFC

Revenue leakage refers to the loss of revenue for a country that can be used for development purposes. It doesn’t take a finance expert to know that this is not a good thing. After all, it is certainly not called revenue ‘gainage.’

Thus, this week, while swearing in the chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr Mohammed Bello, in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari, urged him and his colleagues to stem the tide of revenue leakages.

Speaking soon after his swearing-in, the new RAMFC chairman said that the commission would assist the Buhari-led administration to get more revenue for the federation and block leakages.
He said the commission would implement its constitutional responsibility of monitoring accruals to the federation account and disbursement in order to block the same from pilferage.

“The task is challenging,” he said. “We all know the situation that Nigeria is, or even globally when you look at contemporary African countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt all the economic issues that they are facing we face them in Nigeria. We had the COVID-19, we had a recession, we now have the war with Ukraine, which has affected many countries and revenues are down all over.”
A report on Illicit financial flows from Africa compiled by an AU panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki said that Africa loses an estimated $60 billion (about N10.08 trillion) annually, through such transfers.

The report has stirred massive concerns in Nigeria, which is said to account for over $40.9bn (about N6.87 trillion) or 68 per cent of the total figure.

Cumulatively, Nigeria also topped the list of ten African countries with the highest incidence of illicit financial transfers between 1970 and 2008, recording about $217.7 billion (about N36.57 trillion) or 30.5% of the total in the continent.
The issue of accountability and probity by top government officials has always been a source of serious concern in Nigeria, particularly with the officials repeatedly refusing to publicly declare their assets.
Similarly, last year, a Joint House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Banking and Currency said that Nigeria lost about $30 billion from 2005 to 2019 annually from revenue leakages.
The leakages were basically from activities of agencies and companies in banking, oil exploration, engineering, procurement, construction, installation, marine transportation, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Again, the Buhari-led administration has continued to reel out figures of unaccounted revenues, all due to the corrupt practices of some officials.
Despite the problems associated with revenues and leakages, the task of the revenue mobilisation office remains to get more revenue for the federation and block leakages, monitor accruals to the federation account and disbursement.
This responsibility must, however, not be left for the body alone to shoulder. The government should wake up to the fact that revenues required to meet its obligations should be sourced from various economic activities and not just from crude oil exports.

Indeed, the government would be best placed to meet its responsibilities, achieve national prosperity and accumulate huge external reserves if it takes advantage of fully exploiting and utilizing, domestically, the country’s petroleum endowments without leaving a single barrel of crude oil for export.

It is instructive that it was the understanding from the inception of commercial oil production that crude oil was (still is) a wasting asset and that proceeds from oil exports should be devoted to developing vital economic sectors to facilitate rapid growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.
The government should, also, from time to time, come up with a new revenue allocation formula that will not only be appropriate but in tune with current realities in the country.

Of course, it is worrying as the new revenue mobilisation helmsman has observed that the revenue allocation formula in Nigeria has not been reviewed for about 29 years now, while the Constitution says that it should be reviewed after a period of five years.
In a nutshell, it should be noted that blocking revenue leakages requires alignment and adoption from all stakeholders, including the resources doing the work, the people approving the work and the accounting departments who are billing for the work.
Essentially, to achieve the feat of blocking revenues from escaping the purse of the federation, the Buhari-led administration must fight and wrestle to the ground the cankerworm of corruption.

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