BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly has devised a strategy that will see to the creation of institutions dedicated to providing enduring solutions to Nigeria’s security travails.
Lawan stated this on Wednesday during his concluding remarks on three critical pieces of legislation presently before the National Assembly, said the National Assembly remains committed to ensuring that the security situation in the country improves.
The three Bills are seeking the establishment of the Nigeria Civil Defence Academy; another to give legal backing to the Nigeria Police Academy; while the third seeks to establish a Commission against the proliferation of small arms and weapons.
The Senate President said; “For the last two weeks or so, or even more, the Senate has been discussing and debating on security related motions for days. This is our commitment to our country. We want to see the security situation improve, and that is why we are doing this.
“We are dealing with this by trying to institutionalize certain situations that will provide enduring arrangements and solutions to the situation we face today.
“So, we will push this to ensure that we pass all these bills, and I’m sure Mr. President will assent to these bills because of all the three or four bills taken today and are security related, none of them is frivolous or simply a bill trying to play to the gallery.
“They are bills that are so important to the security architecture of this country, and in fact when you talk about training, it is key and central to getting the kind of competent and qualified security personnel,” Lawan said.
Earlier, Senator Haliru Jika (APC – Bauchi Central), sponsor of a bill to establish the Nigeria Police Academy, said the bill seeks to give legal backing to the academy which took off in 1988, simultaneously at two temporary campuses, namely: the Police Training School, Challawa, Kano, where cadet Inspectors were trained; and the Police College, Kaduna, where cadet ASPs are trained.
He said the two campuses were merged and the Academy relocated to its permanent site in Wudil, Kano, after its formal commissioning on April 2, 1996, by then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, with the expectation that the academy will be affiliated to a University for degree awarding courses.
He added that the Federal Government upgraded the Academy to a degree – awarding institution and the National Universities Commission recognized the Academy as the thirty-seventh Federal University and One hundred and twenty-fourth University in Nigeria.
He lamented that in spite of that, the training institution is yet to be backed by any law, with the development exposing certificates and degrees awarded by the Academy to non-recognition both nationally and internationally.
“It is the recognition of the inappropriateness of the absence of a legal framework for the Nigeria Police Academy and the urgent need to reposition and enhance police effectiveness through proper training as means of fighting the seemingly intractable challenge of insecurity in our country that has necessitated the proposed enactment of a new law to strengthen the Nigeria Police Academy, in consonance with the dictates of international best practices.
“Nigeria needs an institution capable of producing qualitative, skilled and intelligent officers able to meet the manpower needs of its Police Force.
“The present security challenges in many parts of our country and the complexities of modern policing make it imperative that Nigeria continues to have a stream of middle level officers equipped with competences, backed by sound academic background, high professional and moral standards into its Police Force, for effective law enforcement and selfless service to the nation,” Jika said.
The bill which scaled second reading was to the Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative work.
Similarly, another bill seeking to establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy, Pandogari, scaled Second Reading on the floor during plenary on Wednesday. The bill was sponsored by Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East).
Musa said the introduction of the bill stems from the need “to develop the capacities of supportive security organs such as the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, who are expected to, in conjunction with the Nigerian Police, provide internal security, and to attain the highest standards of professionalism.”
The bill after consideration was referred to the Committee on Interior for further legislative work.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Kashim Shettima (APC – Borno Central) is expected to submit its report in four weeks.