The President of Nigeria’s Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would give priority to the issue of defence and security in the country by allocating the highest vote in the 2022 budget that is presently being processed.
Speaking at the opening of the 5th Conference of Network of African Parliamentarians Members of Defense and Security Committees, held on Thursday in Abuja, he pointed out that the major challenge facing Nigeria, Africa and the world is insecurity.
He said: “Today, our nation, our continent and even the world has been challenged by insecurity.
“For us in Nigeria, in the National Assembly, our committees on Defence and Security are probably the most overworked. Certainly, the busiest committees.
“But right from inception in 2019 when those committees were formed, we consider insecurity in Nigeria as part and parcel of our legislative agenda.
“And of course, that is the agenda of the administration as well. So there is a meeting point between us in the Legislature in the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
“We believe that this is one challenge we need to address otherwise development and progress will continue to be stunted and jeopardised.
“Only a few months ago, the National Assembly passed a supplementary budget of over 900 billion naira and about 80 percent of that, over 800 billion naira was appropriated for security and defence of our country.
“And by the Grace of God, we intend to repeat the same feat, that in the 2022 appropriation bill that has been presented to us, we will ensure that the defence and security of Nigeria receive the highest appropriation for us to provide security for our people.
“Our presence here as parliamentarians attest to the fact that we need to fight insecurity and ensure defence for our country through this kind of forum, coming together as parliamentarians in Africa and ensuring that what we do here is escalated to the level of all our parliaments when we go home and of course, through our regional bodies, the ECOWAS parliament and other regional parliamentary bodies and of course the Pan-African parliament where all our African countries are represented.
“And because of the collaboration and partnership that we have in the presence of the European Union which is a major partner to us, I will suggest that the resolutions of this conference should also be escalated to ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly that normally have all African countries represented and of course the European parliamentarians are also represented.
“We believe that we have to domesticate, whatever it is that we resolve here, in our parliaments. What is essential also is to engage the executive arm of our governments in all our countries. Because as parliamentarians, we can pass resolutions but resolutions are meant to be implemented by the executive arm of government.”