Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has identifi ed inadequate funding as one of the challenges hindering security agencies in the country from eff ectively performing their duties.
Dogara said this at the weekend at the opening of a two-day security retreat organised by the House Committee on Army in conjunction with a Germanbased NGO, “Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)”.
Represented by Chairman, House Committe on Finance, Babangida Ibrahim, the Speaker said a motion moved by a member of the House earlier in 2017 informed the retreat, with the theme: “Re-energising Military and other security Forces to meet urgent National Demands”, to pave way for discussion on the challenges militating against the security agencies in the performance of their duties.
Dogara noted that though it was the responsibility of Nigerians to secure their lives, such mandate rest squarely on the security agencies.
But said that security agencies that were under funded would not be able to secure the people and defend the nation.
He said: “We, therefore, have the responsibility to clarify ourselves as lawmakers on the true state of our security agencies.
“First of all, we cannot claim that we do not know.
“Our committee have been embarking on oversight tours to the security agencies, some of the reports that we have received are that the investments we are making in the security agencies are clearly inadequate.
” Dogara stressed the need for training and retraining of the personnel to be able to handle the various security challenges confronting the nation.
He, however, added that while their mandate to protect the people, they must do so, respecting human rights.
“It is therefore, important that irrespective of the challenges, the security agencies need to add the issue of human rights to the curriculum of their trainings,” he said.
On relations among security agencies, Dogara expressed delight that the top brass of the military and sister agencies were now sitting together on same table, reasoning.
He said: “This form of cooperation and understanding need to be taught and enforce at the tactical and operation levels.
“The sad story of security agencies using guns on one another should no longer be tolerated.
” In a remark, the KAS Resident Representative, Mrs Hildegard BehrenditKigozi described Nigeria as an important country, promising the NGO was ready to contribute its quota for the security of its people.
She said that her organisation had been in the country 15 years ago, working with many sectors, including the Parliament, security and health for the good of the country.
Also speaking, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali commended the House for its initiative to investigate pressing needs and gaps of the agencies, thereby fi nding solutions to their legislative and budgetary needs.
Dan-Ali said that the agencies had been able to address some of the contemporary security challenges in the nation such as terrorism, kidnapping, farmers/herdsmen crisis, IPOB activities and ethno-religious crisis.
He noted that those challenges posed security threats not only to the nation but the West Africa sub-region and world at large.