Committee Recommends Creation of Ministry of Homeland Security

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As the various committees of the National Conference are gradually winding up, the Committee on National Security headed by the former Inspector General of Police (IG), Gambo Jimeta,  has recommended the abolition of the Ministry of Police Affairs and it is replacement wit the Ministry of Homeland Security to coordinate National Guard, Nigeria Police Force, Civil Defence Corps and Nigerian Prisons Service.
The committee on General Finance also recommended the removal of the fuel subsidy on petrol and diesel.
According to a copy of the   report of the committee on Security obtained by THISDAY yesterday, the committee recommended to the plenary session the “abolition of the Police Affairs ministry, to be replaced by ministry of Homeland Security to coordinate National Guard; NPF, Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Prisons Service.”
The committee further recommended the creation of Nigerian National Guard Corps (NNG) to handle internal conflicts, border control as well as establish within it a ‘Rapid Response Force’ to deal with emergencies at all levels, including communities and local government areas.
Other aspects of the committee’s recommendation are the establishment of Very Important Personality (VIP) protection department in the Ministry of Homeland Security/Presidency, the creation of Security and Intelligence Services Inspectorate and Disciplinary Service Commission (SISIDSC).
“We recommend the operation of the concept of ‘Community Policing’, the Japanese model, using the Civil Defence Corps to be deployed nationwide up to the community level,” it said.
The committee further recommended that the “present centralised police structure should remain but be reformed to make it more effective and representative of the federal character of the country.”
It further recommended that: “Police Council should remain the body responsible for the force policy, finances, organisation and standards. It should play a far greater role in shaping the aims and objectives of the service. It should be responsible for the appointment of the IG on the advice of the Police Service Commission,” thus removing the powers of the President to appoint the IG.
The police service commission, it recommended, “should continue to be responsible for appointment, promotion and discipline of all officers below the IG, except the operational control of the force which is vested on the IG. It should be independent enough to guard against nepotism in recruitment, discipline, promotion and the dominance of the force by any single or few ethnic groups.”
Also, the committee on National Security said the IG should be made accountable to the Police Council for the effectiveness and efficiency of the force, while recommending further that the police Trust Fund bill be passed into law without delay.
Other recommendations of the committee include that the entire salary structure of the police force should be reviewed upwards, recommending further that the immunity enjoyed by elected public officers be removed.
According to the committee’s recommendation, “because of its security implications, the absolute immunity presently enjoyed by the political chief executives and their deputies should be removed’.
It further recommended that the Nigerian Prisons Service be included in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enable it perform its legitimate functions.
On the Federal Road Safety Commission, the committee recommended that a board of Governors be established for the commission to enhance the confidence and operational efficiency of the staff and the viability of the commission.
A full security orientation and briefings to be put together by the ministry of homeland security for state governors before they assume office in order to improve and increase the effectiveness and capacity of governors.
It also recommended that the policy of early retirement of senior officers should be discontinued, saying: “Stop or minimise premature retirement of senior officers except on proven disciplinary grounds, ill health or disability.”
As at press time, the committee on General Finance is winding up its report, but the major highlight of the report is the recommendation that the continued subsidy on petroleum products be removed. The committee has adjourned proceedings till Monday.
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