No job loss if police take over NSCDC, Peller explains bill

The lawmaker representing lseyin/ltesiwaju/ Kajola/lwajowa Federal Constituency in Oyo State at the House of Representatives, Shina Peller, has said the intention of his bill has been “misconstrued” to mean the scrapping of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps when it actually seeks to make the Nigeria Police Force absorb the security outfit.

Peller had sponsored the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (Repeal and Transition) Bill 2022, which passed the first reading on Tuesday.

The bill seeks to repeal the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (Amendment) Act 2007, establish a transition management committee to superintend over the NSCDC, develop regulations and implement procedures for the transfer of assets and personnel of the corps to the Nigeria Police Force, and other related matters.

The bill had generated mixed feelings from the public.

Peller, in a statement issued on Saturday and titled ‘It was titled ‘Proposed Bill to Repeal NSCDC Act was Misconstrued…We Must Begin to Think of the Future of Our Policing System…Avoid Duplication of Functions,’ said he needed to make some clarifications.

The statement read, “Given the controversy that my bill has caused – the bill seeks to absorb the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps into the Nigeria Police Force and set a transitional framework to achieve this objective, I shall weigh in and make certain clarifications about the proposed bill.

“On Tuesday, the 1st of February, 2022, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (Repeal and Enactment) Bill that I sponsored was read for the first time in the House of Representatives. Expectedly, while some understand and align themselves with the points raised in the bill, some either unknowingly missed the points or deliberately misconstrued the content for reasons best known to them.

“Contrary to what is being falsely spread by some people, the bill is not about scrapping NSCDC but merging the agency with the Nigeria Police Force to achieve better results in policing. The bill does not in any way seek to render people jobless rather the bill proposes the transfer of assets and personnel of the NSCDC to the Nigeria Police. In other words, assets and personnel will be absorbed by the Police; so there won’t be loss of jobs.

“Recall that the NSCDC was established by statute in the year 2003 to exist and operate as an ancillary force, assisting the Nigeria Police Force in maintaining public order, engaging with civilian populations in times of emergency, and other such adjunct functions. The creation of the corps was supposed to free officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to focus on their core policing operations of protecting lives and ensuring the security of property. Since then, the nature of the NSCDC has changed. Rather than exist as, and perform the role of an ancillary force, the NSCDC now includes an armed component and performs policing functions across the country. Predictably, this overlap of functions and jurisdictions has led to increasing conflicts between the NSCDC and the Nigerian Police.

“Nigeria is faced with an unprecedented wave of different but overlapping security crisis, therefore, the government and legislature must be aggressively innovative in considering better options for a more effective national security architecture. This proposed bill should serve as a trigger to constructive debates and conversations that end with substantive reforms in the best interest of the nation.

“Shockingly, the leadership of the NSCDC withdrew security details attached to me, as a result of my proposed bill, although after the news was made public, NSCDC reversed itself. A situation like this calls for serious concerns.

“In conclusion, fragmentation of security resources across multiple competing agencies is counterproductive, coupled with the fact that we have limited resources. What’s the essence of having multiple security agencies with no desirable result when we can harness the resources together to make our Police Force more efficient? This is what the bill seeks to achieve.”

(Punch)

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