Nigerian government approves N13.3 billion take off for community policing

It is as the World Bank has advised 35 states to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with the US$ 1.5 billion stimulus package for the states of Nigeria.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The Federal Government has approved the N13.3 billion amount for the country-wide take-off of Community Policing initiative.

It is as the World Bank has advised 35 states to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with the US$ 1.5 billion stimulus package for the states of Nigeria.

At its virtual meeting on Thursday, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the National Economic Council (NEC) agreed that the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum, together with two other Governors, would meet with the Federation's Secretary of State, the Minister of Finance and the Inspector General of Police to coordinate the proper use of the forum.

The NEC virtual meeting was attended by the Federal Capital Territory Minister, FCT, Mohammed Bello, CBN Governor, Godwin Emiefile, and some federal cabinet officials.

The NEC Ad-hoc Security and Policing Committee made a presentation on its assignment to the Council, noting that there was an ongoing collaboration with key stakeholders on the operationalization of community policing in the region.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Nigeria Governors Forum Chairman, NGF, who made the presentation said the body, met on Thursday, August 4th to review the escalating security challenges facing Nigeria.

He said the meeting discussed the country's worsening problems acknowledging that insecurity could not be completely eradicated while resolving Nigeria's high poverty rate and rates of unemployment.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the NEC, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, said,

“Council resolved that the Chair of the NGF (Nigeria Governors’ Forum) with two other governors would be meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Finance Minister and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to coordinate the proper utilisation of the funding of community policing in the states.

“The federal government has already approved N13 billion for this same purpose.”

He said the work of the Committee was ongoing with key stakeholders and would be meeting further as the need arises to update the Council on the progress being made to address insecurity and criminality in the country.

On the economic stimulus, after discussion between its Country Manager and the Economic Sustainability Committee, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he clarified that it is part of the World Bank's plan for immediate fiscal relief for Nigeria

The stimulus package, he said, was included in the National Economic Council's Ad-Hoc Committee report, NEC, interfacing with COVID-19's Presidential Task Force to ease the economic lockdown.

Governor Sule said that the Grant Agreement, GA, was signed by 22 nations, while GAs was signed by 13 that were yet to return.

Ekiti, Gombe, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Taraba, Oyo, Abia, Enugu, Plateau, Delta, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kwara, Cross-River, Imo, Yobe, Ondo, Osun, Nasarawa and Benue were the 22 states that signed the GA.

Among the 22 states, he said, the 16 states that had received N100,000,000 grants each, totalling N1.6 billion.

Ekiti, Gombe, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Oyo, Abia, Enugu, Zamfara, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kwara, Cross-River, Imo and Delta were among the states.

The next five states on the grant list are Plateau, Yobe, Ondo, Benue and Osun, although the Nassarawa State has yet to provide details of the account.

Sule said the study from the ad-hoc committee also had the key highlights of the ongoing four-week recommendations for the eased lockdown extended second phase 2.

He said the task force reported that the extension was needed due to identified lack of compliance with the prescribed procedure, hazards associated with community transmission and the need to strengthen critical areas of the effectiveness response strategy.

Sule said the committee highlighted some outstanding concerns, including the re-establishment date for educational institutions, new guidelines for internally displaced persons ( IDPs), re-establishment of work by all categories of public and civil servants and complete re-establishment of contact sports activities and leisure facilities.

He said the Nigerian Center for Disease Control Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, also briefed the state situation on the COVID-19 committee.

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