Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas on Friday strongly called for strengthening the country’s defense capabilities.
Abbas, in a message delivered at the opening of a two-day post-inaugural retreat for members of the House of Representatives Defense Committee, stressed the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to Nigeria’s security.
According to the Marshal, the changing problems of terrorism, social violence and conflicts over resources require multi-faceted responses that go beyond traditional military solutions.
He advocated a holistic approach to addressing the underlying socio-economic and political factors that cause insecurity in the country.
The Marshal called on the executive, legislative and judicial authorities to engage in activities and actively cooperate with civil society organizations, the private sector and the international community.
“I am confident that with the support of the National Defense College and the collective efforts of all stakeholders, we can create a functional understanding of Nigeria’s national security architecture and higher management of defense issues and build a more secure and prosperous future for our countries. country.
“I would like to commend the Commission’s leadership for its foresight in planning the retreat to prepare Members to effectively carry out their oversight and law-making functions. In the same spirit, I also thank the management of the National Defense College for agreeing to work with the Commission in providing a functional understanding of Nigeria’s national security architecture and other defense related issues.
“The House legislative agenda I introduced on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, emphasizes security and states our commitment to adopt legislative measures to improve national security. To fulfill this commitment, the House is scheduled to launch sectoral debates in plenary today. The first edition of the Debates will be devoted to security. All service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police were invited to appear before the House to brief Members on the overall state of affairs of their agencies. This is intended to enable understanding of the progress made so far and the challenges requiring legislative intervention,” he said.
House Defense Committee Chairman Babajimi Benson said the purpose of the retreat was to equip lawmakers with the tools necessary to carry out their legislative responsibilities in the defense sector.
“As citizen representatives, we are concerned about these challenges because we must always be accountable to our constituents. The committee therefore continued to engage with the defense establishment to find lasting solutions to the problems and will use the knowledge gained to improve the allocation of funds to the defense sector within available resources.
“I want to reassure Nigerians that we are committed to discharging our legislative functions effectively, efficiently and in a manner that will ensure the security of their lives and properties. As such, I sponsored several bills aimed at revolutionizing the Nigerian defense sector. These Acts include the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act, the Nigerian Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, the Defense Research and Development Office Act, the Armed Forces (Amendment) Act establishing a Space Force for the Nigerian Armed Forces and many others.
“Suffice it to say that several other MPs also sponsored relevant bills, all of which aimed at and supported the armed forces to achieve better results. Some of the draft laws have already been accepted by the President. A retreat of this nature is therefore advisable because it will strengthen our capabilities by strengthening the knowledge and skills we already have, while at the same time opening our eyes to contemporary trends in legislative oversight of the defense sector,” said Benson, who called for funding for the defense sector.
“I want to especially and sincerely thank our Marshal, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas for approving this retreat and agreeing to join us in person and declare it open. This is a reaffirmation of your determination to ensure that Members’ capacities continue to be strengthened so that the 10th House of Representatives delivers extraordinary change and delivers on our Renewed Hope mandate. On behalf of the Defense Committee, thank you. I would also like to thank all the Committee Chairmen and other Members of the National Assembly present here.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Chief of Defense Staff and all the Service Chiefs for agreeing to participate in this event and sharing with us their experiences on topical issues. As our “partners” in nation building, we know that without you our legislative work will be incomplete. I particularly appreciate the commitment of the National Defense College (NDC) to developing the committee’s capacity to effectively carry out its mandate.
“We are grateful for the resources committed to organizing this event. The House of Representatives Committee on Defense looks forward to even more robust cooperation with the university as part of its efforts for a peaceful and secure Nigeria. My appreciation also goes to all those responsible for the resources for taking the time to produce what you would expect to be stimulating articles. We look forward to spending a rewarding time with you,” he said.