Stakeholders and experts in the security and business sectors have said that until the police Act 2020 is fully implemented, public safety will continue to elope the nation.
The experts who met to proffer solutions and find a way out towards the implantation of the Act yesterday in Abuja, lamented the rise in insecurity across the country stating that public safety is key to growing Nigeria’s business environment.
Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, (NESG), Laoye Jaiyeola, noted that public safety plays a critical role in supporting economic growth by reducing crime and enhancing the desirability of communities as places to live and locate businesses.
He said “Every society needs a strong and effective police force to maintain law and order, promote peace and harmony and secure lives and properties. Institutions such as the police is not only central to individual safety but also to a better business environment as well as economic development and competitiveness.”
Jaiyeola explained that the #EndSARS protest of 2020 had an impact on Nigeria’s fragile economy which was still facing the debilitating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic further made worst be growing insecurity is why the meeting tagged ‘Open Forum on Public Safety: Towards Implementation of the Police Act 2020, is apt.
Represented by Nnanna Ude, board member, NESG, he said “Oftentimes, we think of public safety only in terms of the number of crimes committed or detected and the emergency response. However, each incident of crime and its response has an economic and social cost. These costs include the direct economic losses suffered by crime victims, such as medical care costs, lost earnings, and property loss/damage, as well as costs from government spending on police protection, legal services, and corrections programs,” he pointed.
Executive Director, CLEEN foundation and convener of the event, Peter Gad, said the focal point of the open forum is towards the implementation of the Act aimed at providing an effective police force driven by the principles of professionalism, accountability and transparency in its operations and management of resources.
Gad pointed that “To chart an action plan for implementation of this new Police Act 2020, it is expected that there should be an engagement of key stakeholders to brainstorm and agree on the way forward.”
According to Gad, “No doubt, our security system is overwhelmed by an ever-increasing volume of incidences occasioned by security challenges necessitating in the repealing of the Police Act Cap. P19 Laws of the Federation, 2004 which thus gave room for the new Police Act 2020 and approved by President Mohammadu Buhari.”
He said the mission of the CLEEN Foundation is to promote public safety, security and accessible justice through empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes and publications, in partnership with government, civil society and the private sector.
To this end, the foundation 2021 launched a project to strengthen police reform efforts in Nigeria with support from the MacArthur Foundation with the goal of entrenching a rights-respecting policing atmosphere in line with democratic values through the government-driven implementation of the various police reform recommendations in Nigeria.