The House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated its relevant committees on security-related matters to meet with the nation’s security chiefs, to introduce explosive detection devices on the highways.
This is contained in a resolution adopted at the house in Abuja on Tuesday.
The resolution was sequel to a motion by Emmanuel Jime (APC-Benue) which was unanimously adopted without debate when put to vote by the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha.
The motion was entitled: “Need to introduce Explosives Detection Devices/Portals on the Highways in Lieu of Manual Check Points in place”.
The house said its decision was based on the need to forge a better appreciation of what is needed to effect changes at check points so that the changes would be in line with modern trends.
It said that the installation of the devices would also guard against the physical inspections by security personnel at check points.
It also resolved to ensure that check points were managed in a manner that caused the least extra congestion, in spite of attention to details, pending the installation of detection devices.
Moving the motion, the lawmaker had expressed concerns that physical inspections posed more dangers to security forces and the general public who were held in traffic gridlock at the check points.
He said that at the moment, check points being erected at various points on the highway did not have electronic devices that could detect explosives. He said security agents rather manually vet and search vehicles passing through the checkpoints.
The lawmaker expressed concern that these archaic and cumbersome method often times led to serious traffic congestion on the major highways leading into the Federal Capital Territory.
“This manual method of conducting check constitute serious security threat on its own as it leads to massive build-up of vehicles at one point,” he said.
Mr. Jime said the use of detectors, including radiation detecting portals, through which commuters passed would reduce the congestion often caused by the check points.
He said devices would also offer a more reliable form of detecting explosives and other weapons.
Mr. Jime said the call was necessary in the current challenges being faced by the country where political and military structures were no longer the only targets of the terrorists.
The lawmaker said that the road users might just be at the mercy of any suicide bomber that chooses to strike in the heavy traffic build ups usually caused by the checkpoints.
Meanwhile, the house passed for second reading, a Bill for an Act to establish University Veterinary Teaching Hospitals and Veterinary Specialist Hospital.
The bill, sponsored by Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), seeks to give a legal backing to the institution to ensure its smooth operation.
It also passed for second reading a Bill for an Act to amend the Federal Highways Act of 2004.
The bill seeks to provide for an upward review of the penalties and provide distinct sanctions for heavy duty vehicles.
The bill was sponsored by Nosakhare Osahon (APC-Edo).