A bill for an Act aimed at designating the month of November as the national appreciation month for Nigerian security agencies with the purpose of honoring, respecting and giving them greater recognition to personnel for their sacrifices to the nation and other matters connected therewith has scaled through second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill which is sponsored by the member representing Ede north, Ede south, Egbedore and Ejigbo federal constituency of Osun state, Representing Bamidele Salam bill seeks to establish a National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month to reflect upon the sacrifices made by officers and men of the Nigerian Security Agencies and to show appreciation for their service to the Nation.
The bill also aims at establishing a fund to be known as the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Fund for the purpose of conducting the activities of the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month and other matters related thereto.
Accordingly, the overall objective of the bill is to recognize, honor and encourage the dedication of the men and officers of Nigerian security agencies and galvanize a public show of gratitude to them and their family members on an annual basis.
This Bill also seeks to: create and promote national awareness and sensitization of Nigerians of the sacrifices that officers of Nigerian Security Agencies make in the protection of lives and properties of the citizenry;
‘emphasize the importance of Nigerian Security Agencies in the preservation and security of the Nigerian territory;
‘emphasize the importance of maintaining a strong, well-equipped, well-educated and well-trained personnel in Nigerian Security Agencies in safeguarding the freedoms and liberties of all Nigerians;
‘acknowledge the contributions of the officers and men who have served in the Nigerian Security Agencies (Armed Forces, Police, Secret Services etc.)
‘boost the morale of officers and men of the Nigerian Security Agencies;
‘inspire greater public love, support and care towards personnel of the Nigerian Security Agencies.
The bill further seeks to establish a Governing Board of National Appreciation for Security Agencies which shall be in charge of the administration of matters related to this Bill.
“Generally, appreciation encourages people to go to great lengths and even exceed expectations. Appreciation is an incentive with unimaginable level of stimulation. Nigerian security personnel, like their counterparts in other parts of the world in the line of battle over terrorism, banditry and insecurity deserve gratitude from Nigerians who are the prime beneficiaries of their sacrifices.
“The need to show appreciation cannot be overemphasized considering that officers of Nigerian Security Agencies risk paying the ultimate price with their lives, and sometimes eventually do, in protecting the lives and property of citizens. Making this Appreciation a National event will no doubt bolster their spirit, increase their motivation and boost their morale in doing more for the country.
“In other countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom and France, appreciation of the efforts of military personnel has proven effective and remains the propelling force behind the success story of years of battle in defence of the nation.
“It is noteworthy that in furtherance of the agenda to appreciate the Nigerian Military personnel, the “thank you for your service” initiative was initiated by the former Chief of Army Staff in 2016 to boost the morale of the troops of the Nigerian Army. A scheme under this Initiative is the Water Project, to provide Nigerian Army frontline soldiers with a continuous supply of 50 cl bottled water with a message that reads, “Thank You for Your Service”. This initiative gained support from TETFUND, Nigeria Customs Service, Lagos, Ebonyi and Enugu State Governments, with commitments from Abia, Nasarawa, Plateau, Borno States and other corporate organizations; while also encouraging voluntary contributions and donations by the citizenry.
“It is my conviction that this initiative needs to be formally integrated into our conscious acts of gratitude to those men and women who have decided to lay down their lives for the peace, security and wellbeing of fellow citizens. Airlines, Banks, Supermarkets, Eateries, Transport Companies, Telecommunication Service Companies and all others will be encouraged through various means that will be designed by the board of the fund to be established under this Act to show appreciation to personnel of our Armed Forces and other security agencies.
“Mr. Speaker, Hon Colleagues, this Bill if passed by this Hon House and assented to by the President it will generate more positive energy for our security Agencies and show us as a country that truly cares for the virtues of courage and sacrifice”, Rep. Salam maintained.
While explaining the choice of November as the National Appreciation month for Security Agencies, Rep. Salam stated that, is in view of the fact that it is closer to the end of the year when most families, government organizations and businesses are winding down on annual activities. It will therefore be a good time to reflect on the sacrifices of our security agencies especially in the course of the year and celebrate them accordingly.
The bill was subjected to debate during which members including Unyime Josiah Idem, Toby Okechukwu, Babajimi Benson, Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejocha and satomi Ahmed spoke in support of it.
When the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila put the bill to vote, it was unanimously adopted.