The House of Representatives has begun a move to create a special fund for Nigerian Armed Forces to tackle the rising security crises across the country.
According to the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the annual budgetary allocation to the security agencies especially the military cannot be adequate to fight insecurity.
The move followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, at the plenary on Tuesday, entitled, ‘Need for Special Intervention in the Protracted Security Situation in Nigeria.’
The lawmakers unanimously granted prayers of the motion, including to urge the Federal Government to create a ‘Special Security Fund’ for the security agencies apart from the national budget.
They also mandated the leadership to interface with parliaments of other countries, especially the United States of America’s Congress, with a view to overcoming all regulations that bar Nigeria’s security agencies from purchasing arms and ammunition from those countries and the USA.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila noted that the motion was a fallout of the meeting between the House and heads of security agencies earlier on Monday.
Gbajabiamila said, “As you are all aware, the leadership of the House and the heads of security committees met with the heads of security agencies – the security chiefs – behind closed doors for almost five hours yesterday (on Monday).
This motion by Honourable Monguno is a result of some of the outcomes of that meeting. And there will be a couple more arising from that meeting, which we believe that we should put some legislation to enhance their work to help with the security issues concerning this country.”
Moving the motion, Monguno said based on the submissions by the security and service chiefs, it was discovered that the agencies are not adequately funded on the country’s annual budgets, adding that they need the latest technology and equipment.
He stressed that the agencies were also faced with “a lot of bureaucratic and legal bottlenecks.”
The Chief Whip said, who is from Borno State, said, “It is public knowledge that before the advent of the current administration, the territorial integrity of this country had been compromised as a result of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is also a public knowledge that as a result of the activities of Boko Haram, about two-third of local government areas particularly in Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency, came under effective control of the Boko Haram insurgents, thereby administering their own rules and regulations, hoisting their flags and comprising the territorial integrity of the country.
“Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, had become another huge IDPs’ camp as a result of the influx of people from other Local Government Areas and it triggered a very huge humanitarian crisis.”
He added, “With the coming of this government as well as the political will exhibited by the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the gallantry exhibited by our armed forces, today, I can report to you that these Local Government Areas have been degraded (reclaimed).
“But of recent, we have started witnessing a retrogress in the successes we have so far achieved in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, which is a risk of going back to the pre-2015 ugly scenario of Boko Haram effectively having control of some Local Government Areas. And it might trigger mass migration of people from the affected LGAs to Maiduguri.”
However, another member from Borno, Mr Ahmadu Jaha, disagrees with Monguno that the local government areas of the state under Boko Haram’s control had been reclaimed.