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Insecurity: AAN urges FG to overhaul national security architecture, reduce debt profile

A Non-Governmental Organisation, ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Federal government to as a matter of urgency overhaul and restructure the national security architecture in order to win the war against insecurity and prioritise policies that will reduce poverty that is target-based in each community of the country.

This came on the heels of the 43rd meeting of the Organisation Board of Trustees held virtually recently.

According to the statement made available to journalists, ActionAid also noted that negative myths about the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines have continued to thrive. The call for registration for vaccination has been met with mixed reactions. It noted that some Nigerians are still unaware of COVID-19 vaccination despite the online registration portal and house to house registration for the administration of the doses of the vaccine set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to the group, “Kidnapping, especially of school children is gradually becoming a norm in the country as insecurity is still on the rise, with many records of banditry, insurgency and killings, especially in the North West, North East and North Central Nigeria.

“The rising cases of abduction of school children is alarming and will further disparage stakeholders’ efforts at reducing the rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria, particularly, the girl-child. Schools are now seemingly unsafe for girls and give parents undue justification to force their girl-child into early marriage.

“Tackling poverty requires a multidimensional approach and considerations. Implementing interventionist programs to reduce poverty is difficult when violence is on the rise across Nigeria. In addition, poverty alleviation schemes put in place by the government have been rendered ineffective largely due to corruption, uneven distribution, and lack of accountability”.

ActionAid noted that “While other African countries spend an average of 17% of their revenue on debt servicing, Nigeria is currently servicing debts with 50% of its revenue. Despite the huge borrowings, there is not enough infrastructure to show for it as many Nigerians remain in abject poverty. The healthcare system is sub-standard, with no stable electricity and the state of most Nigerian roads are still deplorable.

“The role of the LGAs as the third tier of government in the Nigerian 1999 constitution includes the provision of infrastructural developments at the grassroots. Yet, state governments have continued to usurp the powers and functions attributed to the local governments and only acknowledge them as a subunit of the state with no autonomy.”

ActionAid Nigeria, therefore, recommended that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) should ensure that its multifaceted approach to registration and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine be inclusive, recognising citizens in excluded communities; whilst the National Orientation Agency should work with other stakeholders to eliminate perceived myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We recommend the overhauling and restructuring of the nation’s security architecture to create real changes in such areas as funding, equipment, accountability and boosting the morale of the men in the field among others. Also, community ownership is key to winning the battle against insecurity as evidenced by ActionAid Nigeria Community Action Response Teams (CARTs) piloted in 24 communities in Kogi and Nasarawa states,” it said.

“To reduce poverty, governments at all levels should prioritise policies relevant to specific communities; COVID-19, conflicts and climate crisis should be carefully considered to successfully reduce poverty in Nigeria. Anti-corruption rhetoric should be matched with action. We call on the federal government, anti-corruption agencies to ensure the implementation of emergency fund management protocols and bring defaulters to book,” it added.

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