National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) on Thursday lamented the effect of insecurity on the nation but said that achieving the immediate goal of defeating insecurity in the country would therefore require the collective support of the parliament.
Speaking when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence for 2023 budget defence, Monguno said President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire is to hand over a safer and more secure country to his successor.
Stating however that insecurity was not peculiar to Nigeria but a global menace, General Monguno said: “The successes we have been recording so far in overcoming the security challenges especially in the last four to five months are basically rooted in the efforts of the Department of State Services, National Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence Agency, having being able to provide timely intelligence to the operational element. I want to commend their efforts and I also want to by extension commend the efforts of their counterparts in the operational sphere.
“Please Honourable members, I want to put aside whatever other competing considerations there are. President Muhammadu Buhari has the desire to hand over to whoever is going to inherit what he is working on right now, a safer Nigeria. It is true and I have to be very honest with you that dealing with asymmetric warfare, overcoming asymmetric problems are completely different from what we experienced in the last century.
“Everything revolves around intelligence. And the intelligence we are dealing with is a broad spectrum which goes all the way down to the local level. We deal with human beings. And if we are not supported in the right way, no matter how emotionally, how psychologically we are prepared, we cannot overcome this problem without legislative support.
“I am also happy to inform you that in the recently conducted ministerial retreat, which was organized by the office of the SGF on behalf of the president, the Senate President and the Rt Hon Speaker of the House who were there, I highlighted briefly some of the problems confronting us and they have all agreed to help us.
“We are appealing to you in good conscience, all of you represent different parts of this country and I know you have the interest of Nigeria at heart. Our people are suffering. They are weeping, they are wailing, they are mourning., they are gnashing their teeth. We must help them. We have our limitations as intelligence agencies. The rest can only be done through legislative drive”, he said.
In his remarks earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Hon. Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada charged the NSA and all security agencies to ensure that the country was secured during and after the 2023 elections.
He also said that the total budget of the intelligence community was slightly reduced from N212,764,192,844 in 2022 to N195,018,115,836 in 2023.
First published in Daily Trust