The Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar O. Sulaiman, has disclosed that legislative arms of the National Assembly is uniquely placed to drive the reform process of the government.
Prof. Sulaiman stated this at a workshop organized for members of the legislative arm on enhancing the role of parliamentary committees in fostering inter-agency collaboration, held in Abuja.
According to him, the workshop is targeted at security and defence based committees of the National Assembly and representatives of the various security and intelligence agencies.
Prof. Suleiman who emphasized that all arms of government have a responsibility in this regard, said that legislature is uniquely placed to drive the reform process.
He noted that “an effective security sector can only be achieved through greater synergy between all security actors, both government and non-governmental organisations, hence collaborative efforts between core security agencies, which is meant to enhance cooperation among agencies with shared responsibilities and overlapping jurisdictions.
“In Nigeria, the call for greater inter-agency collaboration has heightened largely due to the rise in insecurity and violent conflicts and the challenge facing the various security agencies to work together to confront these emerging challenges”, he said.
He said that there is need to undertake a holistic review of the level of our security laws, many of which are obsolete retaining an obvious colonial and dictatorial character.
Whereas they might have been effective in the past, they are clearly inadequate to deal with contemporary realities and challenges, adding that it is precisely what underpins the need for an urgent reform of the interagency architecture in Nigeria.
He said that the legislature has a fundamental role to play in this regard and need to be updated and reformed to increase their efficiency, adding that to achieve it must be undertaken through careful and thorough examination of our national security laws in the harsh light of current challenges including rising crime, violent extremism, insurgency and only more recently, growing clamour by citizens for greater accountability by our security agencies and respect for human rights.
“Piecemeal reform efforts are inadequate. It has now become necessary that we review and update all our security legislation to meet these evolving realities with a comprehensive review, it will go a long way in clarifying the roles of each agency in a clearer and more precise manner to avoid ambiguity and overlap; and address common interagency failures by resolving the root causes of those failures”, he added.