By Rukayat Moisemhe
Nigerian security services have restated their commitment to safeguarding lives, property and businesses across the country in a bid to restore local and international confidence in the Nigerian economy.
They gave the assurance at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 2023 Security Meets Business Dialogue Series on Tuesday in Lagos.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, stressed the need to foster the nexus between security, the business community and national development.
Musa was represented by Maj. Gen. Ev Onumajuru, Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
The CDS noted that constant dialogue between the business community and security agencies was critical to better understand and value the contribution of both parties to national stability.
He stated that while security challenges such as terrorism, banditry, ritual killings among others affected the country, Nigerians must continue to live in peace, with citizens displaying the highest levels of patriotism.
“There are many challenges but it is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but a global issue, and so we must employ peaceful, diplomatic and political measures to address them.
“We advise that orientation and reorientation should be ongoing on nationalism, to drive the heart of the people to patriotism.
“On our parts, we would continue to provide counternarratives and strategic interventions to address the phycological effect of insecurity on Nigerians,” he said.
Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said events such as this were of paramount importance, particularly to explain to the business community the role of Nigerian Army in providing security of lives and businesses.
Lagbaja, represented by Maj-Gen. A A Adeyinka, Commander Nigerian Corps of Supply and Transport, Lagos, said this was given the army’s multifaceted role crucial to attracting capital and the expertise required for investments to thrive.
He stated that the Nigerian Army would continue to collaborate with security agencies by pooling resources, intelligence and expertise to foster conducive environment for investment to thrive.
“Beyond the primary area of security, the Army aims to continue to maintain its resolve to fostering an enabling environment by protecting critical infrastructure such as power plants, transportation system among others and would continue to keep them from attacks.
“Our efforts across the value chain involving the investors, manufacturers and the consumers would hopefully continue to yield the desired results to stabilise the economy.
“We would continue to train and build capacity of personnel to ensure security and stability is achieved to propel Nigeria into becoming a destination of choice,” he said.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, said within the last one year, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had increased tempo of air operations in support of land and maritime forces in all ongoing counter-terrorism/anti-banditry operations.
Abubakar, represented by Air Commodore OA Abu, Commander 651, Base Services Nigerian Air Force, Ikeja, said the force would continue to foster freedom of action in the air.
“Freedom of action in the air means that our colleagues of the other sister security services can accomplish their tasks of securing the environment without threat of adversary attack from above.
“Consequently, the NAF will continue to improve security while leveraging commercial programmes with local and foreign investors in order to attract more development to Nigeria,” he said.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, said the role of the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring a conducive atmosphere for socioeconomic activities to thrive was not only statutory but an onerous and daunting challenge.
Owohunwa, represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Lagos State Police Command,Mr Tijani Fatai, said global opinion held that Lagos had not only become a mega-city but was fast transforming into a smart city.
He noted that the distinctiveness of Lagos placed squarely enormous challenges at the doorsteps of the Police as an institution, being the lead agency in internal security, enforcement of law, protection of lives and property.
“Lagos State Police Command is doing all its can to secure lives and property and the state remains a safe haven for investors both local and foreign, even though there are some challenges.
“As the commercial hub of the country, the state command is ready to do everything to deliver the onerous task of safety within the state.
“With the support of all stakeholders, the Command will continue to sustain the momentum and keep the flag flying,” he said.
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, represented by Commodore NS Lakan, noted that the nature of Nigeria’s maritime domain, the longest in Africa, was characterised by its extensive coastline.
Ogalla said Nigeria had invested in developing maritime infrastructure to support trade and security with the Nigerian maritime domain of essence to the security of the country.
“The maritime domain plays a crucial role in revenue generation and the economic development of the country, especially with the blue economy.
“While criminal activities become systematised and sophisticated, issues of piracy are fast becoming a thing of the past and so the Nigerian navy would continue in its role in making Nigeria a safe haven for lives and businesses,” he said.
Prince Julius Adelusi- Adeluyi, former Minister of Health, said every security agency at the forefront of bringing peace must be appreciated, and the work they are doing understood.
He, however, emphasised the need to address the multidimensional poverty beguiling the nation, saying in such a situation, peace maybe difficult to achieve.
“The LCCI must continue to recommend ways that things can become better and encourage people to become great people and not just big people of worth.
“Every Nigerian must begin to have a sense and moral of values.
“There’s also need for some level of education, information and advocacy about the activities and interventions of the security agencies to spur trust in the heart of Nigerians in the country’s security architecture,” he said.
President, LCCI, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, noted that in the last decade, Nigeria had experienced unprecedented levels of insecurity with severe implications for investment flows and businesses.
Olawale-Cole, lauding President Bola Tinubu’s tempo at addressing insecurity and economic challenges, called for sustained funding for defence operations to equip the security architecture with the most advanced weaponry and intelligence infrastructure.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle