Insecurity: Senate Panel Decries Non-funding of NSA Office Since 2015

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  • Says laws governing SSS, NIA, DIA defective
  • Senate leadership to meet Buhari

Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Ad-hoc Committee on Security, which was set up last month by the Senate to interface with security agencies over the security challenges facing the country, has expressed concern over the non-funding of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) by the federal government since 2015.

The committee’s findings stated that the alleged non-funding of the ONSA since 2015 “has undermined the effective performance of its coordinating function in the security architecture and led many agencies to question its authority and relevance in various fora thereby adversely affecting inter-service cooperation and intelligence sharing.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, disclosed that the panel discovered that there are ill-defined operational boundaries and overlapping jurisdictions among the security services during the course of its engagements with the heads of security agencies and stakeholders,

Abdullahi, who presented the committee’s 74-page report on the Urgent Need to Restructure, Review and Re-organise the Security Architecture in the Country, said “there is a lot of incoherence and inter-personnel conflict which have led to a lot of antagonism within the security organisations.”

He blamed the high level of inefficiency among the security agencies on lingering inter-personnel disputes saying “the absence or inadequacies of effective corrective mechanisms within those institutions allowed inter-personal disputes to fester thereby undermining the operational efficiency of the services.”

Abdullahi added that most of the agencies were working on isolation with very little coordination among them. He pointed at the recent unfortunate face-off between the Office of the Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission, which degenerated into open litigation in the law courts as a reference case.

“Most recently, the public release of letters from the National Security Adviser’s Office to the Service Chiefs discountenancing their engagement with the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, bordering on security matters, is a loud testament of the level of disharmony, inter-personnel conflict and intrigue within the nation’s security and defence establishments,” he said.
He also blamed the failure to define functions and boundaries between intelligence agencies on defective laws governing the operation of the Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The legislator posited that, “the general absence of a performance, monitoring and evaluation mechanism within the institutions and services has undermined discipline and due diligence in the conduct of security related operations.

“Allegations have been rife that the quest for personal wealth acquisition has undermined institutional coherence and discipline and resulted in allegations of wastage of funds and squandering of appropriated resources. This is one of the sources of unhealthy competition and inter-personal rivalries within the various services.”

The chairman stated that the tendency to acquire modern technology and other force multipliers by individual security organisation has resulted in the multiplication of incompatible platforms belonging to the different arms of services at the expense of beneficial relationship and coherence of security operations.

Abdullahi warned that reliance on importing all the major security equipment and gadgets is undermining the security of the nation and amounts to colossal wastage when the equipment remained unserviceable due to lack of components and spare parts.

He blamed the failure to nip insecurity in the bud on the absence of an effective centralised criminal database for the country and bemoaned the lack of a comprehensive identity management data covering the country’s population.

He observed that most security agencies institutions, particularly the police, lacked well trained personnel, functional and well equipped training institutions.

The committee, therefore, called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force with operational and budgetary powers vested in the zonal commands as a way of improving efficiency aimed at addressing the problem of insecurity bedeviling the country.