In order to ensure the availability of fund for fight against insecurity within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a bill seeking to create a special security trust fund for Territory has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill titled: a bill for an Act to establish the FCT Security Trust Fund to provide adequate funding for security of lives and property in the Territory and other connected purposes, on Wednesday was adopted on the floor of the House.
The proposed legislation, also seeks to solicit and provide funds for the use of relevant security agencies, recommend and fund necessary security projects, as well as provide adequate funding for the security of lives and property in the FCT.
It further seeks to nurture effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the aspect of crime prevention and containment within the Territory.
Also, it seeks to encourage relevant private organisations to actively partake in protecting and securing lives.
Again, the bill seeks the procurement and distribution of equipment to all security agencies in the nation’s capital.
The bill, according to its sponsor, Rep. Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP, Kogi), if passed into law will allow the FCT administration to have access to a pool of fund through special subventions from the Federal government as well as contributions from corporate organizations without necessary recourse to the National Assembly approval as in the case of supplementary appropriations.
“There’s nowhere in the where government alone handles the issue of security; that’s why communities set up trust funds to augment whatever efforts government makes in providing security the citizenry”, he said.
Debating the general principle of the bill, members though, mildly divided harped more on the advantages of the bill, bearing in mind the prevailing circumstances in the country where due to paucity of fund impugns the fight against insecurity.
For the Minority Whip, Rep Samson Osagie, (APC, Edo), the benefits of the bill if passed into law will out-weigh whatever disadvantages those opposing it may try to advance.
“It’s a very well intentioned bill calculated to make the issue of security a more efficient one for the benefit of residents. One of the major hindrances of fighting insecurity in the country and indeed the FCT is lack of fund.
“I believe strongly that if this trust fund is properly managed, devoid of the corrupt tendencies that characterizes our civil or public service system, I’m sure the security of lives and property in the FCT would be guaranteed”, he submitted.
Another member, Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaya (PDP, Kaduna) who stressed the importance of the having such special security trust fund, said it should be passed in consonance with the mood of the country.
“It’s very important for us at all time to see the issue of security of lives especially in Abuja with adequate priority.
“The Trust Fund can be funded through contributions from corporate bodies, where this money would be put in one basket from where government can draw to tackle any challenge that insecurity may throw at us from time to time” he said.
Peoples Daily reports that the bill which however, did not have a unanimous view in its favour due to some vibrant argument put forward by members challenging the constitutionality of a security Trust Fund for the FCT was passed for second reading after being put to voice vote by the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
Tambuwal, referred it to the Committee on FCT for further legislative input, saying “what we do here in the house is not about politics, if it is about politics the minority whip would not have supported the bill.”