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Insecurity: Senate Seeks More Funding for NEPAD, IPCR, DTCA

As Nigeria continues to battle insurgency in various parts of the country, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Wednesday advocated more insecurityfunding of various peace and economic development agencies, with hopes of stemming the tide of insecurity and increasing the welfare of Nigerians.

This stance was made known at an interactive session of the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/NEPAD with heads of the Institute For Peace and Conflict resolution (IPCR), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Directorate of Technical Cooperation, wherein the Senate sought to be abreast of the activities of these governmental agencies.

Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Baba Kaka Garba (Borno Central) lamented the poor funding of the IPCR, a Federal think tank and research centre designed to strengthen the capacity of Nigeria and Africa for the promotion of peace and security, conflict prevention, management and resolution, describing peace as an important economic tool, without which there could be no socio-economic development.

Referring to his senatorial district (Borno Central) which has one of the most insurgency hit areas of the country, Senator Garba noted that the human development index which had been low before the advent of destruction of lives and properties due to insecurity, terrorism and extremism had even further nosedived in the absence of peace, thus showing the importance of the IPCR.

A member of the Senate Committee, Senator Abdullahi Gumel (who also serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local Governments) aligned with Senator Garba by noting that in his engagements with the National Boundary Commission, Nigeria already had 86 flashpoints and volatile spots that were in conflict and thus, the IPCR would greatly help the nation in these turbulent times if it were properly funded.

Director of the IPCR, Professor Oshita O. Oshita, in his presentation to the Senate Committee had explained that Nigeria’s diversity was not a negative trait and that as important as the institute was to Nigeria in an election year like 2015, no funds were appropriated for it in the 2015 budget.

Meanwhile, the Director General of NEPAD Nigeria, Ambassador Mrs Fidelia Njeze also clamoured for an enhanced budgetary allocation to its Nigerian office in order to meet its continental obligations and mandate of eradicating extreme poverty, placing Africa on the path of sustainable growth and development, accelerating women’s empowerment, and halting the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process. Citing Nigeria’s leadership position as one of the initiating members of NEPAD, she described NEPAD as a knowledge based institution that has the responsibility of carrying out research to identify governance gaps and institutional weaknesses with a view to providing solutions and policy options to government.

She also identified Nigeria’s Federal structure as posing a peculiar problem for NEPAD’s domestication and called for its programs and projects to be given more attention at Nigeria’s Federal Executive council meetings.

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