Senate passes bill to protect border communities

By The Citizen

The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill seeking to promote development  at the nation's border communities in a bid to stop the rate of insurgency and trans-border crimes.

The bill sponsored by Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, which was tagged  a bill for an Act to amend the Border Communities Development Agency Act Cap, B10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, provides the framework  and additional funding for the Border Communities Development Agency.

The bill  indicated that at least, 20 per cent of the nation's  Ecological Funds, would be devoted to tackle infrastructure decay and provide health facilities, schools and adequate security arrangements in all the affected communities.

Accrdong to the bill, the affected comunities shall include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue,  Borno, Cross River, Delta,  Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun,  Oyo,  Ondo, Rivers, Sokoto,  Taraba, Kobe and Zamfara.

Chairman, Senate Commitee on Judiciary and Human Rights, Senator Umaru Dahiru, who presented the report of the joint committee on the bill, said that the passage will ensure that the agency commences full operations in redeeming the nation's border communities.

The report indicated that the agency in collaboration with  the office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, would identify settlements, villages and towns across 108 local government areas in 21 states that are 15 kilometers from the nation's borders, for effective policing and development.

He said, 'The bill also seeks to strengthen our borders so as to reduce the porous nature of our territorial boundaries  in order to check incessant incidences of security challenges as well as human trafficking in the border region.

'The right to security of life and property of a citizen is universally recognised as an inalienable human right. This is clearly indicated by different instruments of the United Nations Organisation.'