Border closure has reduced proliferation of arms— Economic Council

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The National Economic Council’s committee on Security has reported a significant reduction in the proliferation of small arms in Nigeria as result of the closure on the country’s land borders.

Governor of Lagos State, South West Nigeria, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting of the Council on Thursday, said the committee also reported an improvement in the general security situation of the country.

He said the committee, headed by Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, presented its report at the meeting of the NEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

According to Sanwolu, there has also been an improved collaboration among the six geo-political zones towards enhance security across the country.

“At the end of the committee’s deliberations and presentation to Council, the Council was generally informed that the security situation in the country has tremendously improved and we have seen improved zonal collaborations and meetings between the various zones in the country. 

“Among the six zones, we have seen a lot integration and communications at zonal level among the governors and security operatives at the zonal level.” 

He said the committee advised states to pull their resources together and set up security trust funds to have co-ordinated approach to tackling security challenges in the states.

“It was also mentioned that because of the huge resources that is required states it is advised that states pull together to set up security trust fund so that we don’t have everybody trying to do the same thing everywhere. 

“So, states can pull together on a zonal level basis and see economy of scale and how to be able to set up that to help at those zonal levels to improve security.” 

Governor Sanwo-Olu said that the committee emphasized that community policing was important as it would help to reduce the number of unemployed youths in Nigeria.

The Lagos State governor also said that NEC sub-committee set to collaborate with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development presented its report at the meeting.

“The highlight of their report is that the ministry needs to do more advocacy at the various state level.  The committee realized and appreciated that it is the ministry that issue out licenses to various licensees to come and mine. 

“There is need also for the ministry to provide details and time frame for the commissioning of what they call six cadastral offices in zones.

“There is also the need for issues around confirmation of consent by communities to be done at the state level.” 

He said the sub-committee suggested that the Mining Act be reviewed in order to deal with current challenges faced by the sector.

Sanwolu-Olu said that the Minister of Health reported on the situation on polio immunization, informing the council that Nigeria has reached the third year without record of polio. 

According to the report, the last Wide Polio Virus, WPV, recorded in Nigeria was in 2016.

He said Nigeria was on the path to getting certification declaring it polio free.

“We also have huge coverage of about 50% from 38% in 2003 as compared to two other regions in Africa we are doing well,” he said.