Presidential panel on Defence to seek public input

AS the Presidential Committee on the Review of the National Defence Policy prepares to submit its draft report, it has revealed that contributions from the Nigerian public was sought to ensure comprehensive coverage of all gaps that have given vent to the present security challenges in the country.

  Briefing the press yesterday in Abuja, Committee Chairman (retd) Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Umaru said the need to improve the security architecture of the country is in line with contemporary security issues as well as to meet up with global standard.

  He said besides plenary sessions, subcommittee works and interaction with key stakeholders in the security sector in the country, the methodology adopted also includes “visits to strategic industries and institutions across the country and public presentations.”

Umaru said the public presentations would be held simultaneously in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos, where “members of the public will have the opportunity to contribute.”

The public presentations expected to hold from next week will address among other topics, management of national security resources, Total Defence: Concept and practice, Research and Development for self Reliance in Defence needs, Citizens’ participation in National Defence and Morale, welfare and National Defence.

While maintaining that the three months deadline given to the committee is achievable, the Chairman said, “the National Defence policy provides general guidelines for employment of the armed forces and deployment of national resources to secure Nigerian citizens, maintain the country’s territorial integrity, protect her from external aggression and facilitate the achievement of her national interest”.

Considering that the current policy was promulgated in 2006 and with the many transformations “in terms of development and security challenges, as well as new developments and challenges in the global environment that have direct impact on our security and national defence”, the 38 member committee is expected to address the new developments and emerging threats to reposition Nigeria security and defence policy to meet up with the current realities, both local, sub-regional, regional and global. 

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