Short of constitutional amendment, the Federal Government and state governors have resolved to explore how the operations of the Nigeria Police can be decentralised in order to improve the level of policing and security in the country.
“This is one of the highlights of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting today where a Committee of state governors and the Inspector-General of Police has been set up to ensure the decentralisation,” said a statement Thursday signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Office of the Acting President, Laolu Akande.
Members of the Committee include the Governors of Zamfara, Ondo, Plateau, Ebonyi, Katsina, Edo and Borno states, who will work with the IGP, Ibrahim Idris.
At the NEC meeting, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), assured that the Intelligence Community and Security Agencies will continue to sustain current efforts to mitigate the security challenges across the country.
Monguno had earlier briefed the Council on security matters.
Briefing State House correspondents, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr. Benson Abounu, commended the efforts of the security agencies at mitigating the spate of insecurity in the state.
He especially thanked the security agencies for the thoroughness of Operation Whirl-Stroke, mounted by the Nigerian Army in Benue State for their decisive operation which, according to him, has brought relative peace to the state.
Abounu, who spoke to reporters, said, “The security situation in Benue State has improved significantly. Now many Internally Displaced Persons have returned home, the State is relatively calm”.
At the NEC meeting also, presentations were made on Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax by States and MDAs by the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr. Babatunde Fowler.
Dr. Fowler informed Council that the audit of the States MDAs has commenced with respective Governors and Finance Commissioners duly notified, adding that the total outstanding VAT and Withholding debt of States’ MDAs stand at N41,047,661,213.66 for the period 2008 to 2016.
Highlights of NEC deliberations included: Security briefing by the NSA, presentation on strategies for optimising the contribution of MSMES to the country’s tax revenue profile by the executive chairman of the FIRS and report on VAT and withholding tax by states of the federation, MDAS of government.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, also reported to the Council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as at August 14, 2018 stands at $2,250,434,918.00, that the current balance in the Stabilisation Account as at August 14, 2018 stands at N21,591,091,564.37 while the current balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as at August 14, 2018 stands at N143,479,688,711.25.