Faults Anti-Corruption War, CBN Reforms, Legal System
By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”THE National Security Adviser , NSA to the Acting President and key official of the presidency, Gen. Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, rtd yesterday tasked new ministersÂ on the nationâ€™s security and cautioned them on security implications for any lapse.
He gave the charge at a Security Awareness seminar for the ministers held in NSAâ€™s office Saturday.
Gusau in his address on an overview of the nationâ€™s security, ministers of the federation must be at the vanguard of efforts to restore sanity and stability as well as to increase public confidence in the ability of governance to function as expected.
Stressing that the enhancement of human development is a key security objective, the NSA added that â€œNigerian is rated low in human development index issued periodically by international institutionsâ€.
â€œPublic officials have to be conscious of the impressions we convey by the way we value or depreciate the worth of the average Nigerian. The carnage in Jos and the summary killing of Boko Haram suspects by the police showed the world that Nigerians do not value themselves.â€
He said that with incidence of polio, guinea worm, malaria and other disease which have been eradicated in other parts of the world, the commitment of the government to human development has since been under question.
The same development, Gusau said, prevails in the countryâ€™s educational facilities as well as given indices of the high unemployment level, poverty, low food security arising from the countryâ€™s inability to feed its people and decaying infrastructure.
On crime control, the NSA told the ministers that â€œthe security of lives, properties and livelihood is threatened by crime.â€
To this end, he the crime situation in the country is high and that law enforcement agencies appear overwhelmed by the sad situation.
â€œVery little attention is paid to the prevention of crime. Proactive security measures assist to prevent crimes. Good laws and efficient penal system will deter criminals and reduce crimes,â€ the NSA said, adding, â€œit seems our current legal system promotes crimes.
He said it is difficult to prosecute offenders because of lengthy delays in court processes while â€œcriminals go in and out of prison at will, becoming serial offenders.
Faults Anti-Corruption War
Stating that corruption is an economic crime that threatens the countryâ€™s survival, Gusau said it is endemic because the current anti-corruption campaign has been largely considered to be ineffective and selective.
â€œThis is because it penalizes a few unfortunate individuals, while society sees many they consider guilty enjoying their loot in freedom. Some of the agencies involved in anti-corruption have credibility problems, their leaders being accused of wrong-doings.â€
On the banking sector, the NSA said the travails of the sector reflect the double standards critics perceive in the administration of justice; what every bank seem to be doing, yet only a few banks were penalized.
â€œThe fragility of the economy further dictates that offenders be interdicted without damaging the sectorâ€, he said. However, Gusau lamented that. The on-going CBN intervention â€œseemed to have damaged economic activity in the banking sector to the detriment of the larger society.â€
Charging the ministers to be conscious of the impact of public policy on the nationâ€™s security, the NSA said, â€œI want you to always remember that national security interests are paramount and must be respected. Public policy can have significant impact.â€
He said it is therefore important for certain public policies to have security imputs just as the introduction of policies which may be considered controversial are implemented with adequate preparation by security agencies.
Charging the ministers on the need to carry the people along in policy plan and implementation, Gusau said that to do otherwise have serious consequences both in the short run and long after.
The one-day seminar took the new ministers through other relevant sub matters like Foreign Intelligence Activities and the Threats to Security, Security of Information, Documents and theOperations of Government and The VIP: Enhancing Personal Protection Security and Safety.
Other papers presented were on The Anti-corruption Campaign and Crime and Society: Policing and the Current Challenges of Law Enforcement. Both the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed and the Head of Service of them Federation, Steve Oronsaye moderated the discussions.