Current security architecture has failed Nigerians ― Senate President
•Says NASS to commence Constitution review soon
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has added his voice to the call for a review of the country security architecture.
Addressing newsmen on Monday ahead of today’s resumption of federal lawmakers from the Christmas and New Year break, Senator Lawan declared that the current arrangement has failed the nation and demanded its review just as he hinted that the Red Chamber would set machinery in motion for amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
He said:” One thing must be on deck. The Federal Government, state government and even the local government and in fact, more importantly, citizens because wherever you see security improving, that means the citizens are playing their roles very well. But of course, the onus lies largely on the government. So, we are going to work with the executive arm of government.
”We should engage with the security agencies in the Senate to find out why security is deteriorating in many parts of the country. We have had a series of engagement before but the escalation now has made it mandatory that we have to have a definite position as a government because we just cannot play politics with security issues.
”Lives are at stake. Therefore, the Senate will take a position on how security in the country should be. We believe that the security architecture should be restructured. The present system does not appear to give us the type of outcome that we need. Whether it is the federal, state or local government; Even the traditional rulers or others, the most important thing is to secure the lives and property of Nigerians and we would do that. ”
”Presently, the story is not good in many areas you have so much happening that is destabilising and killing of people and we owe Nigerians the responsibility to intervene and work together with other tiers of government to ensure that we change the way we approach security matters in this country,”
On the composition of the Constitution review committee, he dispelled insinuation that certain senators close to him were pushing for the leadership of the Committee as he disclosed that the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege would be saddled with the leadership of the Committee, in line with the tradition of the National Assembly.
Lawan said the National Assembly would also carry out legislative works on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bills (PIGB), Electoral Act Amendment to improve the processes and procedures of the elections especially against the backdrop of lessons learnt from the 2019 elections and recently conducted rerun elections.
According to him, the Senate was determined to break the jinx of non-passage and consequent presidential assent of the Petroleum Industry Governance bills and its ancillary bills on the environment, host community, amongst others.
He restated his conviction that the legislative passage and presidential assent on the PIGB were sacrosanct to boosting not only the revenue in the oil sector but it would equally herald a new oil exploration regime with huge investments as was never witnessed.
“The PIB that has defied passage, we want to break that jinx, whatever the mystery
”We are determined to ensure that we pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of 2020 by the Grace of God.
“The PIB is so important because until you are able to pass that bill, you can not attract investments into the oil and gas sector.
”In the last 10 years there have not been any investments in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, that is so important because we have lost so much and if we pass and by the grace of God we will, the enormous benefits will be important in catapulting the economy of Nigeria to the level that Nigeria need.
”We are also not oblivious that we should amend the electoral act, we have had the 2019 elections and we have also had re-run elections or bye-elections and recently on Saturday in 12 States, 28 elections were heard so, there must be lessons from those elections, we should be looking at where there are challenges and what we need to do to provide legislative intervention, so that we have better election processes and procedures going forward, this is going to occupy our minds and going to take front burner.”
Lawan who said the Senate would meet with the revenue generation agencies maintained that the upper legislative chamber would remain the closest ally of the agencies to enable them to meet their revenue targets to make the 2020 budget implementation a reality.
His words: “Implementation of the 2020 budget is going to occupy our time. We have passed the budget, now the 2020 budget would have started in January and would end on December 31.
“We are going to continuously engage the Ministry, Department and Agencies, MDAs, at oversight function.
“In fact, we are going to introduce presentation of oversight reports at plenary, so that knowledge of performance would not be limited to only members of a particular committee. Where the entire Senate needs to take a position it would be done from the point of knowledge.
“Where we need to intervene to prove performance we will do so. I believe we are going to engage the revenue generation agency continuously for the whole year.
”You know that the implementation of the 2020 budget would depend largely on the revenue we are able to generate and collect.
”Therefore, the optimal performance of the revenue-generating agencies will be critical here, we are going to engage the revenue-generating agencies on a quarterly basis.
“We shall at early next month we would hold a general meeting with all the revenue-generating agencies for a Congress sort of meeting. That is to tell them, that we are here for you.
”We want to ensure that they perform creditably well, discharge the mandate that is expected of them. It is going to be a policy of some sort, that every revenue-generating agency, generate to meet its target and where there are issues we will be there to ensure that the issues are dealt with.”