By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday urged the federal government to create a special security fund for security agencies outside of the national budget.
This was just as the House moved to investigate activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the country; as well as reintroduce the bill seeking for the monitoring of NGOs by an established commission of government.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) titled “need for special intervention in the security situation in Nigeria”
Leading debate on the motion, Monguno, who is the chief whip, noted that Nigeria in recent times has witnessed unprecedented level of insecurity, which has made national security a major issue for the government.
He said the efforts of President Muhamadu Buhari towards curtailing insecurity in Nigeria as well as other measures aimed at deterring or disturbing potential attacks.
The lawmaker explained that he was aware of the interaction between the leadership of the House and security chiefs on the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, appreciating the efforts of the security agencies in curbing the menace of insecurity despite the challenges they face.
“Cognisant of the need for new strategies and expedited action to ensure that insecurity in Nigeria is reduced to the barest minimum”, he stated.
Adopting the motion, the House also resolved that its leadership should interface with parliaments of other countries especially the United States of America’s (USA) Congress with a view to overcoming all regulations that bar Nigeria’s security agencies from purchasing arms and ammunition from those countries and the US.
Following an amendment proposed by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), the House also agreed to investigate activities of all NGOs operating in the country and if possible reintroduce the NGO regulatory bill, which was sponsored by late former deputy House leader, Hon. Buba Jibril in the 8th Assembly.
Elumelu reasoned that “what we are discussing now has been captured in section 83. So, we should not over flog this matter. What we need to do is to inform the presidency that the security agencies need to be properly funded.
“I think that it is high time we investigated the NGOs operating in Nigeria, and they should be registered and we should know where they get their funding. Also, we should resolve to visit our brothers in other Parliaments; we complained to the executive”.
Responding, the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said “we will in due course, have an executive session about the security meeting we had yesterday. Last time, late Hon. Buba Jibril tried to sponsor the NGO’s regulatory bill, there was a public outcry. But after the revelation from the security chiefs yesterday, there is need to revisit that proposed legislation. We will also be meeting with some of the NGOs, because one rotten egg can spoil one basket of eggs”.
While shedding light on the motion, Gbajabiamila said “As you’re all aware, the leadership met with the security chiefs for upward of five hours yesterday, this motion by Hon. Monguno is a part of the fallout from that meeting. More will be coming; and this motion is part of the ways to help them to do their job”