Stakeholders summit on protecting Nigeria’s critical infrastructure holds in Abuja Feb 28

FILE PHOT: Dr. Alfred Chiakor (c), Secretary of the Summit Planning Committee, stressing a point during the media briefing. He is flankes by Principal Research Officer, Ashcraft Centre for Social.Science Research, Engr Audi Ekwu (l) and a representative of Cattigan Communications Ltd (Media Consultants for the National Summit), Mr. Tom Chiahemen (r).

By Jacob Kubeka –

Organisers of the the National Stakeholders’ Summit on “Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets,” said today the event would hold in the nation’s capital, Abuja from February 28.

According to the Coordinating Committee for the event, the two-day National Stakeholders Summit scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, is a Private/Public Sector Partnership that aims at galvanizing responsibility 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 Risk Management Framework of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022).

Head of Secretariat, Coordinating Committee, Dr. Chiakor Alfred, who made this known in a statement issued in Abuja, said initiative was also in line with the Critical National Infrastructure Bill under consideration at the National Assembly, pointing out that the last two decades had demonstrated clearly that the nature of threats to Nigeria’s security have changed significantly.

He said: “Structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalisation, degradation and destruction of Nigeria’s critical national infrastructures, monuments and business assets; terrorism, insurgency, cyber-­‐crimes, banditry, kidnapping, piracy, oil bunkering, drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime, have created an entirely new security environment. Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from classic military conflict between states.

 “The gross expansion of the contours that define security boundaries makes it imperative to recognize the eco-­‐systemic dimensions of the threats that stare at us daily and in every form.

“The rampancy and intensity of the vandalisation and destruction of Nigeria’s infrastructures and assets prompted the call to arms by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security Establishment and all Nigerians to see it as a patriotic duty to ensure maximum vigilance and shared responsibility in the protection and security of these Assets and platforms at all points in their life-cycle.”

According to Dr. Chiakor, who is also the Chief of Strategic Planning and Innovations, Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research, the projections of the Summit include the re-engineering of appropriate legislations; and the strategic roadmap for harnessing expert knowledge and country wide technical support for deterrence, codified response strategy and recovery architecture to Nigeria’s critical assets.

“The Summit further aims to deepen advocacy; harness expert/operational knowledge and country wide technical support to enhance deterrence, threat mitigation and desired security outcomes; and sustain confidence building through robust interface with all Stakeholders including Nigeria’s National and State Houses of Assembly; the Armed Forces, Security and Intelligence Agencies; Statutory Regulators in the diverse Sectors of Nigeria’s productive economy; Investors/ Business Owners; Operators of the Infrastructures and Assets; Professional and Civil Society Organizations; the Traditional Institution, Socio Cultural and Pressure Groups, etc,” he added.

He believed that by building inter/multi sectoral synergy, the Summit shall engender Stakeholders and citizens with shared responsibilities towards achieving the institutionalization of the road map and priorities of the policy frameworks crafted to provide deterrence, security and resilience of Nigeria’s assets.

“It is also the expectation of the Conveners that the derivatives from the Summit shall enhance knowledge leadership & management, regenerate confidence in securing Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s productive Sectors as canvassed by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, at different international fora; and also boost capital growth and turnkey business startups and development..,” he said.

Emphasizing that the security of lives, infrastructures, monuments and assets was the collective responsibility of every citizen, whether private or public. Issues of security, destruction of lives and property know neither religion nor ethnicity, he said the committee was calling on the partnership and support of all Stakeholders, both in the Public and Private Sectors, with diverse political, religious and professional orientations to put aside all prejudices to help forge a common front to confront the monster that is threatening the integrity of our corporate existence as a people and as a nation.

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

He explained that the Summit, earlier scheduled to hold on the 6th and 7th December, 2021, had to be rescheduled to enable for robust consultations with more diverse Stakeholders across the Sectors.

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