INSECURITY:Senate meets Ministers, Service Chiefs, okays compulsory registration of citizens

In an effort to address the menace of identity fraud, multiple identity and insecurity in Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Interior, is to make registration and certification of Nigerian citizens compulsory.

This was part of the resolution reached during the interface between the Nigerian Senate, the Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies and some Ministers in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cabinet on Tuesday.
The Senate had, during the resumed plenary of 30th January, 2024, summoned the Security Chiefs to an interactive session over the rising cases of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, armed robbery, killings and other criminal activities across the country.
Those invited by the Senate include, Ministers of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo; Finance, Wale Edun; Police Affairs, Ibrahim Gaidam; National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu; Directors-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi and that of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar.
Others include, Chief of Defence Staff, General Chris Musa; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun.
Briefing Journalists after the interface that lasted over 10 hours, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, said the meeting also looked into possible ways of strengthening the border security of the country, to guide against influx of criminal elements.
He said, “We asked questions from the Interior Minister, and we spoke about how to, maybe apprehend criminals within the country. And then we spoke about standardization and certification of a citizen’s identity, through VIN, BVN, NIN, etc; so that we can put all together, so it means that, at the strike of a finger, you can get the identity of a citizen.
“So that no citizen will bear three or four identities and whenever a crime is committed by any citizen, they will not be able to apprehend him or her.
“So, we got that assurances, and that one is even ongoing. And then we got the assurances of our border patrol, that today, the borders must be manned seriously, and that we need more men to man the borders.
“We also got the assurances from the Minister of Finance, that funds would be released expeditiously for the purchase of those gadgets that are going to assist our Service Chiefs and our security men to perform their duties very effectively”.
On the Security Chiefs, Senator Adaramodu reiterated the Parliament’s vote of confidence on them, saying, the Lawmakers were pleased with the progress made so far to fight insurgency.
“The Service Chiefs have allayed our fears. They even satisfactorily answered our questions on the total plans they had, which is underway, that is going to nip everything in the board.
“They told us what they have been doing, especially some samples, which we saw a few weeks ago about the Bwari kidnap saga, and so forth. Then the efforts of the security, how they have apprehended the suspects, and the suspects are under trial now”, he added.
Earlier, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, while reading the resolution, said Senate took the decision to give the invitees past mark, after listening to submissions made by the various Security Chiefs on latest onslaughts against criminal elements in the country.
“After listening to the Security Chiefs, the Senate is convinced that serious measures are already being carried out against criminals in the country by the various security agencies.
“Such actions are indeed, yielding results with arrest of many of the criminal non state actors within the last few days which would surely bring about a secured and safe country for us all.
“Senate is particularly impressed with arrest of about 90% of those who perpetrated heinous crime across the country in recent time.
“We however urged the various security agencies, to do more by enduring synergy in their operations for total security of lives and property in the country.
“On our part as legislators, will shall collaborate more with the executive arm of government towards putting the menace behind us”, Akpabio said.

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