The Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has identified inadequate funding as one of the challenges hindering security agencies in the country from performing their duties effectively.
Mr Dogara spoke on Saturday at the opening of a two-day security retreat organisd by the House Committee on Army in conjunction with a German-based NGO, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, KAS.
The Speaker was represented by Babangida Ibrahim, chairman of House Finance Committee.
He explained that a motion moved by a member of the House earlier in 2017 informed the retreat, to discuss the challenges militating against the security agencies in the performance of their duties.
The theme of the retreat was: “Re-energising Military and other security Forces to meet urgent National Demands.”
Mr Dogara noted that though it was the responsibility of Nigerians to secure their lives, such mandate rest squarely on the security agencies.
He, however, said that security agencies that were under funded would not be able to secure the people and defend the nation.
“We, therefore, have the responsibility to clarify ourselves as lawmakers on the true state of our security agencies.
“First of all, we cannot claim that we do not know.
“Our committee have been embarking on oversight tours to the security agencies, some of the reports that we have received are that the investments we are making in the security agencies are clearly inadequate,” he said.
Mr Dogara stressed the need for training and retraining of the personnel to be able to handle the various security challenges confronting the nation.
He, however, added that while it is their mandate to protect the people, they must do so, respecting human rights.
“It is therefore, important that irrespective of the challenges, the security agencies need to add the issue of human rights to the curriculum of their training.
Mr Dogara expressed delight that the top brass of the military and sister agencies were now sitting together on same table, reasoning to strengthen relationship among security agencies.
“This form of cooperation and understanding need to be taught and enforce at the tactical and operation levels.
“The sad story of security agencies using guns on one another should no longer be tolerated,” he said.
In a remark, the KAS Resident Representative, Hildegard Behrendit-Kigozi, described Nigeria as an important country, promising that the NGO was ready to contribute its quota to boost the security of its people.
She said that her organisation had been in the country 15 years ago, working with many sectors, including the Parliament, security and health for the good of the country.
Also speaking, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali commended the House for its initiative to investigate pressing needs and thereby finding solutions to their legislative and budgetary needs.
Mr Dan-Ali said the agencies had been able to address some of the contemporary security challenges in the nation such as terrorism, kidnapping, farmers/herdsmen crisis, IPOB activities and ethno-religious crisis.
He noted that those challenges posed security threats not only to the nation but the West Africa sub-region and world at large.