The Federal Government has charged security agencies in the country to serve the Nigerian people by strengthening internal security.
Rauf Aregbesola, minister of Interior, gave the charge at the Second Ministerial Retreat of the Ministry on Thursday, 9 December, 2021 in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital.
“At the back of our mind, we must never forget, above all things, that our main purpose is to serve the people by strengthening internal security and give all the people resident in the country the peace of mind they deserve”, the Minister said at the event.
Aregbesola also charged the agencies under the Ministry to forge strategic alliance with sister agencies.
“It is also important for the four agencies to forge strategic alliances with other agencies, especially in light of new security challenges to our facilities and the nation at large.
“This retreat should also afford us critical and creative thinking and original solutions and ideas. Everyone should speak freely but creatively and intelligently. No one should be a bench warmer,” the Minister told the gathering.
On the recent spate of external attacks on the Custodial Centres of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, the Minister noted that men of the underworld have capitalized on the general insecurity in the country to lead unconscionable attacks on her facilities, but that the Federal Government is rising up to the new challenge posed by these attacks.
“I must address the scourge of recent vicious attacks on our custodial facilities. Men of the underworld have capitalised on the general insecurity in the country to lead unconscionable attacks on few of our centres. Our gallant officers and men of different security agencies have given their all, including sacrificing their lives to protect these centres. May God grant those who have died eternal rest and comfort the family they have left behind. As a government, we will continue to support the families of our heroes.
“We are in extraordinary times as a nation. We are facing unique challenges that will define how we live, moving forward. As a result, there is no shortage of work to be done, or responsibilities to bear. The Federal Government is rising up to the new challenge posed by these attacks.
“We have commenced retraining of our officers to respond to these attacks, whilst providing more sophisticated weaponry for their use. We have invested in the construction of 3,000 modern capacity custodial centres in each of the six geo-political zones,” the Minister noted.
Setting agenda for the retreat, the Ministernoted that there is an urgent need to put in place well thought-out policies and programme that would ensure effectiveness and efficiency toward improving internal security, according to the mandate handed down by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“In order to achieve Mr President’s mandate, there is an urgent need to put in place well thought-out policies and programme that would ensure effectiveness and efficiency toward improving internal security. There is need to determine where we are on the delivery of internal security, the challenges and the limitations. These would enable us develop plans and strategies with timelines for effective service delivery.
“As a Ministry and Agencies, we must work towards improving on the following, amongst others; Ensuring and maintaining relative public safety and security of all Nigerians and foreign nationals’
residents in country; Timely processing of applications for Business Permit and Expatriate Quota Positions in a manner that would promote transfer of skills to Nigerians and create employment while enhancing internal security; Prompt processing of all citizenship related applications and encouragement of wider spread of Marriage Registries nationwide,” the Minister stated.
Shuaibu Belgore, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, in his welcome address, stated that the Ministry will serve as a means of evolving solutions to the several security challenges facing the country.
“This retreat will serve as a platform for the Ministry and Agencies to evolve solutions for the various internal security challenges affecting the nation. The topic of this retreat has been carefully selected to illuminate the focus of the Ministry’s mandate and identityour challenges,” Belgore stated.
The retreat which continues on Friday, 10 December, through Saturday, 11 December, 2021 with the theme “Developing Internal Security and Public Safety towards a Five-year Strategic Plan for Accelerated National Development,” will end with the production of a 5-year Strategic Plan for the Ministry and its agencies.
The event hosted by the Kwara State Governor, AdbulRahman AbdulRazaq, had in attendance representative of the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu Gambari; the Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Ibrahim Liman; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abubakar Audi; Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa; and Ag. Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Idris Isah General.