Proposed Security Summit a Waste of Tax Payers’ Money


Nigeria has become a global talk shop in almost everything in becoming a statehood in exploring its rich natural resources to be counted amongst the comity of nations. Since Independence in 1960, the country has witnessed several multilateral symposia, workshops and summits, all in a bid to chart a course for the nation of our dream, but most of these so-called exchange programme dialogues and summits have proven to be merely fleecing pipes of the nation’s vast economic resources into few hands while the implementation of the summit communiques are never done.

Before now, while the current Senate President was the Senate Leader of the 8th National Assembly, a summit was conducted at the Nigeria Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja, where all the Security Chiefs were present and papers delivered by virtually all the security stakeholders, including expatriates and Nigerians in the Diaspora, on the security challenges facing the nation. However, up till date, the recommendations of the summit have not been implemented, nor a white-paper released to show any seriousness in finding any lasting solutions to the security menace.

Just this month, the 9th Senate came up with the idea of another security summit. The Senate described it as an “all-inclusive and all-encompassing National Security Summit” that would come up with very robust and far-reading resolutions on how to nip in the bud, the current security challenges across the country. However, this plan is viewed by majority of Nigerians as another white elephant project all in a bid to siphon tax payers’ money, waste resources, time and critical decision moments to be taken by the security chiefs at their offices to converge for another empty summit without planned phase on how to implement previously recommended solutions.

But come to think of it, as reported by a popular national daily, “this summit will be coming 17 months after the Eighth Senate organized a similar event where the present President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan as Senate Leader was the Chairman of the Summit.”

Today, the former Senate Leader as the President of the same Senate has subscribed to the same security summit that held in February, 2018 (just about 17 months ago) which he presided over and its recommendations have never been implemented. This, he has done, without taking into consideration what has become of the report of the last security summit he headed. There has been colossal waste of resources of production for the summit, as well as the attendant waste of time on the white elephant project of tax payers’ money; funds expended on feeding, accommodation and all other economic cost to the nation.

In a press statement by Citizens Watch Advocacy Initiative (CWAI), Abuja, signed by the Executive Secretary, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele, the organization asked very serious questions aimed at knowing if Nigeria has changed since then. It also wants to know if the resolutions of the previous national security summits converged all these years have ever been implemented. The organization further requested for the results of all the previous security summits to date, as well as, why their recommendations have not been implemented to the letter.

CWAI wonders why another national security summit, when the same Service Chiefs that have been around would be the same people to present papers. It therefore wonders what went wrong and wants to know why the outcome was not implemented to move the nation forward, but instead, a fresh security summit is been planned, which looks more of a jamboree or a wastage of tax payers funds.

CWAI emphasizes in strong terms that the previous outcomes and communiques or white-papers on the issue by these so-called security summits should be looked into by the Senate (the Legislature), and the Executive arm (which includes the Presidency), so as not to waste huge resources planning another jamboree as Nigerians cannot afford to have another security summit, not to talk about paying for it. This is knowing full well the harsh realities globally, taking into cognizance the nation’s ailing economy.

CWAI is in tandem with the views of a human rights and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana who has described the proposed national security summit as “completely escapist and diversionary.” As he reasoned, it a well-known fact that “on February 8, 2018, the Senate convened a well-attended national security summit in Abuja, in which the Executive branch of the Federal Government participated. Incidentally, Senator Ahmad Lawan was the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee set up by the Senate to review the security situation in the country and the committee submitted a report with far reaching recommendations, but apart from the enactment of the Police Security Fund, other recommendations of the committee have not been implemented.” Again, “on June 8, 2019, the Executive convened a security summit attended by the President, Vice President, the 36 state Governors and Service Chiefs, to review the security situation in the country and the resolutions of the summit have not been implemented.”

The organization therefore, calls for the outright suspension of the planned security summit as it is a wasted venture to spend tax payers money. Instead, such monies should be channeled to other important areas of developing the nation like the construction of roads, social infrastructure, provision of electricity and the prompt payment of pensioners allowances, as well as payment of servicing workers salaries.

Nigeria at this juncture, CWAI reasons, does not need any jamboree security summit, but rather needs concerted efforts by all and sundry to implement the previous recommendations so as to nip in the bud these challenges once and for all.

The organization therefore asks the pertinent questions and demands answers to same: Where are the previous white papers, recommendations of previous 8th Senate (and any other) security summits hosted either quarterly and/or yearly by resource persons across the length and breadth of Nigeria? What happened to the recommendations from editorials and opinions of newspapers, political platforms on electronic media and resource dialogues from union seminars and security meetings attended by the top echelon of Nigeria’s governmental agencies? Are Nigerians not tired of all these summits without commensurate solutions on how to curtail the insecurity in the country?

In view of the foregoing, CWAI calls for the outright suspension of the proposed security summit by the 9th National Assembly because it is a colossal waste of time, resources, tax payers’ money, and a sheer duplication of efforts.

Therefore, CWAI reiterates Falana’s observation that: “… instead of calling for the setting up of another security summit, the Senate, under the leadership of Senator Lawan, should implement the resolutions of the Senate and the recommendations of the Executive on national security.”