The Senate, on Thursday, grilled the heads of security agencies over the rising insecurity across the country and their plans to contain the situation.
The meeting, which held behind closed door for more than four hours, had in attendance the Director-General of NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, General Lucky Irabor (Chief of Defence Staff), Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru (Chief of Army Staff); Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo (Chief of Naval Staff); and Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao (Chief of Air Staff); Director General of Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.
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The Chief of Defence Staff, who spoke on behalf of the armed forces, briefed the Red Chamber on the general security challenges and requirements to have an efficient and effective security.
The military authorities and some lawmakers had complained about inadequate necessary weapons to tackle the rising insecurity in different parts of the country.
Same challenge, it was gathered, was re-echoed during the closed session by the security chiefs, who assured that the country would see improved security situation once the necessary resources are provided.
The lawmakers, after the briefing, said though they did not discuss money during the closed session, they were awaiting supplementary budget from the Executive that will help in providing funding for the security agencies.
Inadequate resources bane for security agencies – Lawan
Before the meeting went into closed door, Senate President Ahmad Lawan had said that the security agencies had not achieved optimal performance due to inadequate resources to tackle the security challenges.
“Once again, I welcome you and trust us with what you think will help us as a parliament to help the cause of Armed Forces and other security agencies to perform better because you haven’t achieved the optimum and I can attribute that to inadequate resources,” he said.
He, therefore, assured the security agencies that the Senate would continue to assist them get the required resources to protect lives and properties of the citizens and residents.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Senate’s spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said the National Assembly will be awaiting supplementary budget from the relevant government agencies to help tackle insecurity.
“We are committed to ensure that all necessary legislative and appropriation supports are given to all the relevant agencies as may be subsequently requested. We are ready to receive supplementary budget,” he said.
Convinced with synergy among security agencies
He said from the nature of the briefing received from the security chiefs, the lawmakers were convinced that there was synergy among the security agencies and that a lot of work had gone into addressing insecurity.
He said: “We have a tremendous status quo report that a lot had gone into stemming the tide of insecurity in Nigeria.
“Perhaps, if not for that synergy and the efforts that has gone in terms of operationalising and putting the Nigerian security organisation, particularly the Air Force in proper shape, perhaps we would have been in a more terrible situation.
“So, the story is about how far we have gone but then there is room for improvement and we are committed to that improvement.”
Meanwhile the Senate adjourned plenary for the Sallah holiday till 18 May 2021.