Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said an  estimated N5 billion has been paid as ransom to kidnappers since 2016. Kalu who spoke yesterday at the national dialogue on state policing, in Abuja, noted that the staggering figure exposes the growth of criminal enterprise in the country.

He said: “Since 2016, estimates suggest over N5 billion has been paid in ransoms to kidnappers, a figure that starkly exposes the alarming growth of this criminal enterprise in the country.

“Furthermore, the 2024 Global TerrorismIndex paints a concerning picture, ranking Nigeria fourth in Sub-Saharan Africa and eighth globally for countries most impacted by terrorism. “

The deputy speaker noted that these statistics “underscore the urgent need for a multi-layered policing approach that prioritises local security and enables a more responsive policing environment in Nigeria.” Nevertheless, he noted that, understandably,  Nigerians are divided on solutions to the prevailing security situation in the country.

He said: “One school of thought advocates for a return to multilayered policing. Proponents of this approach argue for the re-establishment of state police forces to operate alongside the existing federal police structure.

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“They believe this competitive model would incentivise states to prioritise security within their territories, ultimately attracting businesses and residents while boosting state economies through increased job creation and tax revenue.

“Conversely, others maintain that the current unitary system can be reformed to address security concerns. These individuals acknowledge

shortcomings in past policing practices, but believe a revamped federal model can be optimised for improved national security.

“It is pertinent to note that regardless of these arguments, the sub-nationals in Nigeria already practice some forms of multi-layered policing – from the Amotekun in the South West to the Ebubeagu in the South East as with the pioneer Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in the North East geopolitical zone.”