Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos), Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Defence has promised to work with other stakeholders to ensure accountability and prudence in government spending in the area of security.
In a statement on Sunday, Benson also pledged the committee’s readiness to support all security agencies to achieve their mandates. The chairman, who said that there were enormous tasks before the committee and the security agencies under its supervision, called on them to live up to the expectations of Nigerians.
He said the need to protect life and property in the country could not be overemphasized. The lawmaker also pledged that the committee would follow up the decision of the House to provide a special fund to be approved by the National Assembly. He said the fund which would be outside the national budget, was meant for the Federal Government to fight insecurity.
This decision, he said, followed revelations from a security meeting between the leadership of the House and the Service Chiefs, on Sept. 23. Benson said that in the next four years of the 9th House, the committee would ensure robust engagement with security agencies to achieve its set goals.
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He said: “I want to call on the security agencies to be ready to cooperate with us as a committee, as we are here to work for Nigerians to ensure the protection of life and property. “The security of the people is paramount, that is why we call on the security agencies to cooperate with us.
“On our part, we will work assiduously to ensure that all the operational needs of the security agencies are met through adequate budgetary provisions. “This is a new era, Nigerians will not accept anything less than good results from us all. “We will also ensure adequate and attentive oversight, especially for the 2019 budget.
“This is necessary so that we can evaluate the progress of work for ourselves and come up with the necessary ways of improving things as we prepare to receive the 2020 budget.“ He enjoined all the security agencies under the House Committee on Defence to be up and doing. “They should be as open as possible to us as parliamentarians, we would do the same to them.
“We acknowledge that the military needs the support of every sector of the society, from traditional rulers, the media, and citizens, have a critical role to play in assisting the country to achieve a secured society.”