Stakeholders take action to protect Nigeria’s critical infrastructure, monuments and business assets

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… hold a national summit in Abuja

By PAUL ADAJI, Abuja –

Everything is now ready for the National Stakeholder Summit on “To protect Nigeria’s critical infrastructure, monuments and business assets,which is to be held in Abuja from February 28, according to the event’s coordinating committee.

The two-day National Stakeholder Summit to be held at the Convention Centre, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, from February 28 to March 1, 2022, is a private/public sector partnership that aims to galvanize accountability and synergy for the prioritization of the Multi Agency/ Joint risk management efforts to ensure the security and resilience of Nigeria’s critical national assets in line with the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022) Risk Management Framework.

The initiative is also in line with the Critical National Infrastructure Bill pending in the National Assembly, according to the head of the coordination committee secretariat, Dr. Chiakor Alfred.

In a statement released Monday in Abuja, Dr Chiakor said the past two decades had clearly demonstrated that the nature of Nigeria’s security threats had changed significantly.

He said: “Structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalism, degradation and destruction of critical national infrastructure, monuments and commercial assets of Nigeria; terrorism, insurgency, cybercrime, banditry, kidnapping, piracy, oil bunkering, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime, have created an entirely new security environment. Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from conventional military conflicts between states.

“The gross expansion of the contours that define security borders makes it imperative to recognize the ecosystemic dimensions of the threats that threaten us daily and in all their forms.

“The widespread and intense vandalism and destruction of Nigeria’s infrastructure and assets prompted the call to arms of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Armed Forces, Intelligence Center and security and to all Nigerians for seeing it as a patriotic duty to ensure maximum vigilance and shared responsibility in the protection and security of these assets and platforms at all stages of their life cycle.

According to Dr. Chiakor, who is also Head of Strategic Planning and Innovations, Ashcraft Center for Social Science Research, Summit projections include revamping relevant legislations; and the strategic roadmap for harnessing expert knowledge and nationwide technical support for Nigeria’s deterrence, codified response strategy and critical asset recovery architecture.

“The Summit further aims to deepen advocacy; Leverage expert/operational knowledge and technical support at the national level to enhance deterrence, threat mitigation and desired security outcomes; and maintain confidence building through strong interface with all stakeholders including the National Assembly and National Assembly of Nigeria; armed forces, security and intelligence agencies; Statutory Regulators in the various sectors of Nigeria’s productive economy; Investors/ Business Owners; Infrastructure and Asset Operators; professional and civil society organisations; the traditional institution, socio-cultural and pressure groups, etc. “, he added.

He believed that by creating inter/multisectoral synergy, the Summit will engender stakeholders and citizens with shared responsibilities to achieve the institutionalization of the roadmap and priorities of policy frameworks designed to ensure deterrence, security and resilience of Nigeria’s assets.

“The organizers also expect the outcome of the Summit to improve leadership and knowledge management, regenerate confidence in securing foreign direct investment in Nigeria’s productive sectors as requested by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in various international forums; and also stimulate capital growth and the start-up and development of turnkey businesses..”, he said.

Emphasizing that the safety of lives, infrastructure, monuments and property is the collective responsibility of every citizen, whether private or public. Issues of security, destruction of life and property knowing neither religion nor ethnicity, he said the committee called for the partnership and support of all stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors, to the diverse political, religious and professional orientations to put aside all prejudices to help forge a common front to confront the monster that threatens the integrity of our corporate existence as a people and as a nation.

“It is therefore incumbent on all of us to engage strongly on how to deter and mitigate these challenges in a systematic and coordinated manner. In this way, we can be sure to preserve our collective heritage and the sanctity of our God-endowed resources, both human, technical and material,” he stressed.

He explained that the Summit, which was to be held on December 6-7, 2021, had to be postponed to allow for in-depth consultations with more diverse stakeholders in the sectors.

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