Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that, under his watch, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) would focus more on intelligence gathering.
Although the minister admitted that he did not know much about the ministry, he emphasised that his new directive to the paramilitary agency was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to ensure security, improvement in economy and fight against corruption in the country.
Aregbesola, who was on a familiarisation visit to the headquarters of the NSCDC on Thursday, argued that since the Civil Defence was not the lead security agency in the country, as its mandate only allowed it to provide support to sister agencies, it should concentrate on intelligence gathering.
“Since you are not the lead internal security agency, you must improve your intelligence gathering. The early warning capacity your agency provides to others will help reduce threats.
“My emphasis is on the early warning part of security that will help sister agencies work better. Rather than being reactive, we will be proactive,” he said.
The former Osun State governor maintained that the hallmark of security was not the arrest of crisis but the elimination of threats, which the corps would now focus on.
The minister, who descrived the NSCDC as the most effective agency in communal security, charged the corps to take advantage of its closeness to the grassroots to gather intelligence for lead security agencies in the country.
He, therefore, designed a new acronym for the corps to work with in actualising President Buhari’s target: “We must adopt his (Buhari’s) slogan in the way that it is best suited for us. So, we will adopt ‘SET’ in this ministry, which means Security, Economic improvement and Transparency.”
He further pledged that there would be a significant improvement in security within the country in the shortest period with the new method of operation.
Earlier, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, said Aregbesola was the best candidate to take the ministry to the next level.
“He’s a go-getter, hardworking man and never leaves anywhere how he met it,” she said, adding that he has hit the ground running with his familiarisation tour of agencies under the ministry.