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Lawan tasks FG to tackle insecurity as Nigeria’s biggest challenge

…seeks quick implementation of PIA

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, observed that the problem of insecurity was the biggest challenge that must be prioritized and tackled by the Federal Government via constant engagement between the Executive and the Legislative arms. Lawan, who stated this in his address of welcome as the Senate resumed from its two-month annual recess, stressed that efforts must be made to sustain the fight against insecurity by ensuring adequate funding for security agencies in the 2022 budget. He said: “Distinguished Colleagues let me applaud and commend our gallant Armed Forces for the recent success recorded in their fight against insurgency and banditry in our country. I want to urge them to sustain the campaigns until the insurgents and bandits are rooted out in our country.

“Distinguished Colleagues, you would recall that we approved the Supplementary Budget request of the Executive in July this year, just before we proceeded for the annual summer recess. The National Assembly approved over N800 billion for our security and intelligence agencies. “While that provision was appropriate and indeed necessary, we should sustain the trajectory of increase in funds and resources to the security sector. “Therefore, we should consider a ramp up of more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 Appropriation. This also requires that our defence and intelligence related committees must step up their oversight on the agencies. “Distinguished Colleagues, the fight against the security challenges in our country requires continued engagements between the National Assembly and the Executive arms of government.

“It also requires continued engagements with citizens, for the necessary and desired results to be achieved. We must therefore remain resolute and focused in achieving those. The National Assembly, indeed the Federal Government, has no more serious challenges to tackle than insecurity today.” Lawan also stressed the need for the Implementation Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the timely execution of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) assented to by the President on August 16, 2021. “Distinguished Colleagues, before we embarked on our recess we had accomplished the targets that we set for ourselves. We passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and also passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2010. “These were landmark legislations targeted at enhancing the oil and gas sector in our country and improving the electoral system in our dear nation.”

He further disclosed that the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, National Planning and Economic Matters, Petroleum Downstream, Petroleum Upstream and Committee on Banking would also be presenting its report soon on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), preparatory to the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill by the President.

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