• News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: March 22, 2024

State police: FG blames govs for delay in policy as only 16 governors submitted reports

State police: FG blames govs for delay in policy as only 16

The federal government has heaped blame on state governors for the delay in the implementation of State policing as only sixteen state governors have submitted reports to the National Economic Council (NEC) backing the creation of state police and recommending changes to the constitution to accommodate it.

Allnews.ng gathered that the report from the sixteen state governors was received during the 140th NEC meeting on Thursday at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, which was presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Stanley Nkwocha, Special Adviser to the Vice President on Media and Communications, announced this in a statement headlined "NEC endorses take-off of $617 million i-DICE programme across states."

Nkwocha, on the other hand, stated that the Federal Government is still expecting reports from 20 states while expressing optimism that others will assist state policing efforts.

He said: “Secretary to NEC (Mr Nebeolisa Anako) made a presentation on submissions by states on the state policing initiative. Reports have been received by 16 states on the establishment of State police. 20 states have yet to send in reports. All states across the country expressed their support for the establishment of state police for the following reasons.

“States made presentations in support of the creation of state police. States recommended changes in the constitution and the current policing structure to enable the operationalisation of the initiative."

While he did not provide specifics on the situation, the VP's adviser stated that the entire figure would be disclosed at the next NEC meeting, even though "the compilation is still ongoing."

Allnews.ng reported that on February 16, 2024, the federal and state governments agreed to draft plans to establish state police to address the country's security problem.

Meanwhile, a presidential official told The PUNCH that state governors will eventually decide if state police and forest guards succeed in securing the country's forests.

The source, who did not want to be identified, stated, "The President directed the state governors to debate it further at the state level. A committee was formed to handle this. We haven't heard from the committee yet.

"Don’t also forget that simultaneously, the national assembly is considering inserting state policing in the constitution. So, there is a consensus around state policing. 

“As for the forest guards, work is going on with it. There are existing forest guards in several states, but they are under the states’ ministries of agriculture. The goal now is to strengthen their capacity by arming them properly and recruiting more people.

“Still, it all falls in the hands of states to strengthen the forest guards. That is where we are now.”

Another Presidency official stated that the opening of the Nigeria-Niger border was part of attempts to prevent the spread of small guns and light weapons used by non-state actors.

"What I know is this: some people have linked our security problems to the situation in Libya. The Libya conflict has led to the flow of arms to Nigeria. We share a long border with Niger. And many arms are flowing into the country.

“Our borders with our Sahelian neighbours are largely ungoverned. So, there are many arms in the hands of this bandit.

"We had to make peace with Niger because of this. It was an attempt to appease Niger. We share the same border. If we are not at peace with them, they may ignore the arms flowing in. Even the food shortage we are talking about, many goods come from Niger to Nigeria. We exacerbated things when we shut the border,” the official asserted.

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