Bill Advocating State Police Passes Second Reading

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House wants local production of army, paramilitary uniforms

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed through second reading, a bill seeking to allow for the establishment of state police as a way to ensure effective community policing in Nigeria.

The bill titled: ‘A bill for an act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the establishment of state police and to ensure effective  community policing in Nigeria; and for other related matters,’ was sponsored by Hon. Awoleye Abiodun Dada (Oyo APC).
Awoleye said the current security situation in the country calls for a reconsideration of the structure of the Nigeria Police.

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Kayode Oladele (Ogun APC) argued that the notion that a state police would be abused by politicians is no longer tenable in contemporary Nigeria.

“We say it would be abused, is it not being abused in the current federal system? …The current structure is colonial and that police should be decentralised is not a political issue,” Kayode said.

He added that the manner of transfer of police officers from one base to another does not allow for adequate comprehension of the areas they are posted to therefore jeopardising investigations.

“Each state would be able to determine the number of police needed in the state,” he said and added that community policing would enhance police relationship with communities.
The amendment was referred to the special ad hoc committee on constitution review.

In another development, the House has mandated its Committee on Defence to ensure that uniforms and other apparels of the Nigerian army, navy, air force, customs, immigration, police, civil defence, prisons and fire service are produced and procured locally.
The House noted that the N4.3billion budget for uniforms and apparels would benefit local industries and boost the economy.

The resolution followed a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Ossy Prestige (Abia APGA) who noted that local industries have the ability to produce the quality of apparels required for the agencies.

“The role of the government in ensuring the sustainable  growth of indigenous cloths manufacturing industries cannot be over-emphasised. The government must put in place palliative measures to ensure that the industry is empowered and an enabling environment should be created to aid the growth of the industry,” Prestige said.

He however cautioned that only licenced manufacturers should produce the uniforms.
“Concerned that in this era of economic meltdown, this administration’s policy of foreign currency conservation cannot be achieved if we continue patronising the foreign market and trading in foreign currency,” the lawmaker added.