Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has hinted that the National Security Adviser (NSA) played a role in delaying states’ eligibility to procure drones in the fight against insecurity.
Mr Fayemi, who spoke on Thursday at the Ekiti Economic and Investment Summit, where the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was in attendance, stressed the need for multi-level security in the country.
He advocated the empowerment of states to have their police, noting that the demand had become inevitable in the face of current security challenges.
“This request does not mean abrogation of the central police,” said Mr Fayemi.
“If you have problem of security in Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai can easily take charge.
“My recent experience and many of our governors were not even palatable where we wanted to procure drones and Mr President was with us on the issue, but the NSA refused us End User Certificate, though we got it one year after.
“As of now, security is on the exclusive list. Even If the FG is ready to allow us procure some arms, we have to sign MOu with the Nigerian Airforce. We have to work together collaboratively, because investors consider security as number one in any state.”
Mr Fayemi was not alone in the call for the decentralisation of the police, as the governors of Lagos, Kaduna and Edo also lamented that preventing governors of the respective states from taking charge of security was affecting investments, development and wellbeing of the people adversely.
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said police should be removed from the exclusive list for state chief executives to be in firm control.
“If you have businesses , you have to protect them and you must have the apparatuses,” he said.
“Security is on the exclusive list and we are looking up to the federal government to remove it for states to take charge.
“We must provide facilities for the police to be able to train our local vigillantes, because in Edo State that was what we did. We raised a vigillante group to police our villages from kidnappers and other criminals.”
In the same mode, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his remarks at the summit, underscored the importance of security to encouraging investments.
“When you have investments, you would have to protect them and take also responsibility for whatever happens,” he said.
“The investors will rely on the governors for protection and it is sad that we are not in charge.
” This is the area where the federal government must look into the issue of state police.”
Also the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said security has become a big problem that every Nigerian should be concerned about.
He also called for the decentralisation of the nation’s police force.
“We have 150,000 personnel in the Nigerian army. Police was 400,000 by the time this government came on board ,but has gone down to 300,000 now. We need multi level police. Policing is local just like a unitary environment like Britain,” said Mr El-Rufai.
“Kaduna State is about 46,000sqkms in size . Boko Haram has been chased from Northeast by ISWAP and now occupying the Northwest. But if they are dislodged here, where would they go? This is why we should all be concerned.”
The Kaduna governor added that the country must decentralise the power of National Judicial Council to determine the number of judges a state can have.
However, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, appealed to the governors to start making huge investments in areas where they have comparative advantages to shore up their internally generated revenues and stop sole reliance on federal allocations for survival.
The Vice President , who was one of the panelists, stated that time has come for the chief executives of the states of the country to start thinking about how to grow the economy like a nation, by investing in most appropriate ways in areas of their economic strength.
“The attractiveness of investments to any state should be radical, because that is the revenue hub and determinant of how happy the people of any state will be in terms of economic development in relation to their standard of living,” he said.
“But while trying to grow investments, we must be cautious of multiple taxation, it weighs down businesses. Ekiti is a business -friendly environment. Ekiti has also excelled in the aspect of ease of doing business. You have vast arable lands for agriculture. Also of recent the Government of Ekiti divested 76 percent of shares in the Ikun Dairy farm for Promasidor for the production of 80,000 litres of milk daily.
“Let me say that Ekiti has a bigger economy than many Africa nations. The question we should ask ourselves is that if I were the landlord of this nation, how do we survive? During my time as a Commissioner in Lagos, we started with N600 million monthly Internally Generated Revenue in 1999.
“The seizure of Lagos funds by President Olusegun Obasanjo made us to think like a sovereign state. Today Lagos is making over N45 billion monthly.”
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