How We Are Legislating For State, Community Policing –Rep. Benson, Chair, House Committee On Defense

Kunle Adelabu

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Defense, Rep. Babajimi Adegoke Benson, has stated that it is not difficult to legislate for state police as being demanded by some section in the country.

In fact, the three – term legislator, who is representing the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, revealed how the National Assembly has been encouraging not only the creation of the state police, but also community policing at the local government level.

Benson, while speaking with Seun Okinbaloye on the Channels Television recently, stated that the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Bill which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in November, makes provisions for production of fire arms and also encourages the establishment of state police.

“It’s not difficult to legislate on security matters. The second bill signed by Mr President (President Tinubu) after he came into the office, the DICON Bill, ensures that we have a regulatory framework to create a multi industrial complex for arms manufacturing- mostly light weapons and software”, Rep. Benson said.

“You may not be aware, but that’s the next gold mine for Nigeria – manufacturing of arms.

“The DICON equivalent in Brazil makes about $1.5billion per year. We intend to grow our own DICON to such stage whereby it’s going to be a huge revenue earner for Nigeria.

“The law we signed also empowers the DICON to ensure standardization. Any weapon that we manufactured in Nigeria, can be used anywhere in the world.

Speaking on how the National Assembly is working towards encouraging the formation of state police, Rep. Benson said:

“Parliament is also looking critically at the state Police Bill. It is something that we are working assiduously to ensure that the same passed as soon as possible”, he said.
“There is also a conversation that if you don’t want, don’t apply. If your state needs state police, apply. Such conversation should encourage state, local governments to also have access to be able to secure their environments in the best way that they can.

“So, government is being proactive and taking critical steps to ensure that the country is protected”, he added.

lt would be recalled that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill 2023, was sponsored by the Chairman on the House of Representatives Committee on Defense, Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC – Ikorodu Federal Constituency).

The original DICON law was established on August 1, 1964, by an Act of Parliament and revised as the DICON Act in Chapter 94 of the Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2023, repeals the previous iteration of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act and empowers the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria to:

“Operate, maintain, and control subsidiaries and ordnance factories to manufacture, store, and dispose of ordnance and ancillary stores and material.

“Establish the Defence Industry Technology, Research, and Development Institute (DITRDI) to create an elaborate scientific and research-based technological foundation for Nigeria’s defence industry through the leveraging of combined, multi-disciplinary research from multiple military research institutes for application that leads to commercialization and the development of new military technology and capacity in Nigeria.

“Provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for the regulation of the manufacturing, distribution, storage, and disposal of defence articles in Nigeria.

“Incentivize the development of a nuanced financing architecture that enables private capital to facilitate research, development, and production in the defence sector in a transparent and predictable fashion”.

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