Nigeria to Consider State Police? Tinubu, Governors Back Proposal Amidst Rising Insecurity

Nigeria to Consider State Police? Tinubu, Governors Back Proposal Amidst Rising Insecurity.

As insecurity continues to plague various part of Nigeria, the federal government appears to have finally come around to the idea of having state police.
Yesterday, at a meeting with 36 state governors, attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the national security adviser (NSA), the inspector-general of police (IGP), the director-general of the Directorate of State Service (DSS), and some ministers at the State House in Abuja, it approved the composition of a committee to begin the groundwork for the establishment of state police.

President Bola Tinubu, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, approved the establishment of a committee comprising state governors and representatives of the federal government to, among other things, explore the modalities for establishing state police.
He further endorsed the training and equipping of forest rangers by sub-national governments to safeguard human and natural resources in local communities.

LEADERSHIP Friday reports that following the seemingly intractable security challenges across Nigeria, especially terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, rustling, and communal violence, there have been growing calls for decentralisation of the policing structure in the country, most recently by Governor of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

This is as the president said his administration was evolving home-grown solutions to address the nation’s food security challenges by setting up schemes to support local production and discourage all forms of rent-seeking associated with food importation.
He said: ‘’My position at this meeting is that we must move aggressively and establish a committee to look critically at the issues raised, including the possibility of establishing state police.

‘’From Kano, we have read reports about large-scale hoarding of food in some warehouses. The national security adviser (NSA), the inspector-general of police, and the director-general of the Department of State Services should coordinate very closely and ensure that security agencies in the states inspect such warehouses with follow-up action.
‘’We must ensure that speculators, hoarders, and rent seekers are not allowed to sabotage our efforts in ensuring the wide availability of food to all Nigerians.

‘’What I will not do is to set a price control board. I will not also approve the importation of food. We should be able to get ourselves out of the situation we found ourselves in, because importation will allow rent seekers to perpetrate fraud and mismanagement at our collective expense. We would rather support farmers with the schemes that will make them go to the farm and grow more food for everyone in the country.”

The president also spoke of the need to look into the implementation of livestock development and management plans, including dairy farming.
He also urged the governors to trust the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the management of the country’s monetary policy, emphasizing the importance of allowing designated institutions to fulfill their mandate effectively.
According to him, the ‘’cacophony of postulations’’ on the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates was unduly affecting the market negatively.
‘’Every one of us cannot be an expert. If we have given someone an assignment, let us allow them to do it. If they cannot do it, then we find a way to quickly get them out of the system,’’ the president said.

President Tinubu further asked the governors to always make the welfare and prosperity of the people a priority of their development programmes, assuring them that the federal government will continue to work diligently to improve the nation’s revenue profile.
At the meeting, the president and the governors emphasized the importance of working together to address issues of insecurity, food security, and out-of-school children.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) expressed appreciation to President Tinubu for convening the meeting and affirmed the governors’ commitment to partnering closely with the federal government.

Governors Blamed For Worsening Food Crisis
Meanwhile, the Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI) has accused state governors of shirking their constitutional responsibility by expecting the federal government to solely carry the burden of easing the current economic situation, which is worsening the situation.
This is as the initiative insisted that the increased revenue shared to them as a result of petrol subsidy removal has not reflected in the lives of Nigerians residing in the states, saying apart from Lagos and a few others, there is no replication of the federal government’s commitment to assuaging the challenging economic circumstances of citizens at the sub-national level.

The policy group, in a statement signed and made available to the media in Abuja yesterday by its chairman Niyi Akinsiju, said that having benefitted from higher revenue inflows from the federation account as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy, the state governments have to do more for the people in their respective domain.
“To put this in perspective, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports that in 2023, state governors got the most cash in FAAC allocations in at least seven years. This was after the petrol subsidy was removed and the currency reform availed a 40 percent increase to the country’s revenue.

“According to the NBS, FAAC shared a total of N16.04 trillion to the three tiers of government in 2023, a 37.3 percent increase from N11.7 trillion in 2022. From this, the states and their local governments received a total FAAC allocation of N6.57 trillion, twice the N3.16 trillion they received in 2022.
“The NBS particularly noted that the amount shared by the federation surged in June 2023 following President Tinubu’s removal of the petrol subsidy and liberalisation of the foreign exchange market.
It said that according to the NBS, Delta State, a Peoples Democratic Party-controlled state received the highest FAAC allocation of N214.74 billion between June and December 2023. Rivers State, another PDP-controlled state followed with N179.81 billion. Akwa Ibom State, yet another state with a PDP governor got the third highest sum of N145.57 billion, and Bayelsa, a PDP state with only eight council areas, received the fourth highest revenue allocation at N128.5 billion.

“Despite this hugely increased revenue, a PCL State Performance Index (PSPI) released by Phillip Consulting Ltd in December 2023 ascribes a poverty rate of 13.10 percent to Delta State as well as an unemployment rate of 31.10 percent and an inflation rate of 24 percent.
“According to the PSPI, Delta State faces significant challenges in the effective management of public institutions, provision of public transportation, and access to potable water.
“While poverty rate is 7.3 percent in Rivers State, its unemployment rate is stated at 41.60 percent and inflation rate at 31 percent. These figures are way above the national average of 33 percent unemployment rate and the 28.9 percent inflation rate respectively.

“Akwa Ibom, another high earning PDP State has a poverty rate of 22.9 percent, unemployment rate of 51 percent, and inflation rate of 26 percent with Bayelsa State recording poverty rate at 24.3 percent, unemployment rate of 36.7 percent, and inflation rate of 28 percent.
“In summary, other data have shown that most of the states in the federation are ill managed, reflective of the fact that substantial FAAC allocations received by these states have not significantly improved the condition of their residents.”
Speaking from a policy perspective, IMPI argued that there was no basis for PDP governors to compare the Nigerian situation with that of Venezuela.

“We further question the basis of the governors’ insinuation that Nigeria is treading the path to the economic situation that had become the lot of Venezuela when, indeed, the policies being deployed by the Tinubu administration are the opposite of the policy undoing of Venezuela.

“The South American country, like ours, used to binge on crude oil revenues by subsidising virtually all basic needs but when oil prices crashed, its economic vertebra couldn’t carry the burden of the weight of the populist-driven subsidies that had inflation rate skyrocketing to nearly 190 percent in December 2023.
“Rather than castigating President Tinubu, we insist he should be commended for the courage of applying policies that will redeem the country from a possible Venezuela scenario,” it added.




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