The Buhari administration, in an effort to solidify existing measures to contain insecurity in the country, has approved N13.3 billion for the implementation of Community Policing initiative across the country.
The country is already facing serious security issues, and the implementation of community policing will consolidate ongoing efforts to contain the challenges.
The news of the funding was disclosed at a virtual meeting by the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday.
To coordinate the proper utilization of the funding of the initiative, the meeting resolved that the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, with two other governors, meet with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Finance Minister and the Inspector General of Police for conciliation.
The meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with state governors, FCT Minister, CBN Governor, and some federal cabinet officials in attendance.
In response to the meeting, the State governors commended the efforts and commitment of the Federal Government in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting States’ response capacity through various interventions.
In a presentation on its assignment to the Council, The National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-hoc Committee on Security and Policing, noted that there was an ongoing engagement with key stakeholders on the operationalization of community policing in the country.
The presentation was made by Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum.
Other reports were received by the Council at Thursday’s meeting including reports on flood disaster risk management, the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, and the issue of compensation payments over Federal Highway projects across the country.
There was more than one report on the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the reports was presented by NEC’s Adhoc committee, which interfaced with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, while the second report was presented by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.
In the pandemic report, the NCDC indicated that the rate of positivity has fallen from 19.7% in June to 13.7% in August 2020, while the number of states with testing laboratories increased from 2 to 32, including the FCT.
In the status report presented to the council, “the average tests per day had risen from 500 at the onset of the virus outbreak to 3,500 on Thursday, while the daily laboratory testing capacity increased to 10,000.”
The Council also received recommendations from the Adhoc committee some of which include:
– States and FCT should engage the services of the respected community influencers such as the heads of “Area Boys”, market women, and villagers, in disseminating the same message to the grass root using different modes/media that are common to such people and could easily attract their attention.
– The states and FCT to look for ways of upscaling the communication at the grass-root level/ non-compliance to non-pharmaceutical interventions.
- The need for states and FCT to explore the suggested use of local networks and traditional institutions such as Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) to re-orient the people at the grassroots who had continuously lived in denial of the pandemic but rather chose to display nonchalant attitude towards all the laid down protocols.