From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has stressed on the need to urgently put in place a comprehensive structural and procedural capabilities in mitigating terrorist attacks and cross-border crimes.
Such a security structure, according to the NSA, should also include monitoring financial crimes such as money laundry and advance-free fraud.
Coordinator of Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA, Yem Musa, stated this yesterday at a workshop on “Enhancing the use of ICT in counter terrorism policy and practice” in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by the Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, also known as Partners West Africa Nigeria, and the Partnership against Violent Extremism (PAVE).
The coordinator, who spoke through his representative at the event, Ms. Catherine Udida, Head, Preventing/Counter Terrorism Centre, said the workshop came at a time “our nation needs all the support to surmount the challenges of growing insecurity.”
Musa said like every developed nation in the world, “the country is experiencing evolving security issues which continue to challenge our mandates, individually and collectively, as institutions.”
“There are activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in the North-East, the increased rate of kidnapping across the country, ethno-religious clashes, banditry between herdsmen and farmers in the North Central, and North-West. The Niger Delta is not left out of the security challenges, as activities of illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalisation and militancy continue to pose threats to the commonwealth of our nation.”
He said the globalisation of the world has brought down artificially created barriers and made the world a global village.
“We are able to communicate and share information in a split of second; and we have seen technological advancement in the world. The images that stream to our television screens attract both good and evil; the desire to improve and compete with developed nations and the tool of being recruited to carryout crimes and criminalities beat imaginations,” he said.
While expressing the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari to security, he disclosed that the recent statistics released by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) showed Nigeria has 150 million active mobile phone subscribers for a population of 180 million.
This, he noted, “is a welcome development, but the challenge in our work has just begun; and there have emerged some obvious questions of where, when, who, whom, why and how to ensure that organised criminals and terrorists do not infiltrate this space.
“We are constantly reminded that to provide the environment for economic growth, we must look ahead, and as such, we are not oblivious of the fact that information communication technology is a great tool that can help us mitigate some of these challenges.”
Earlier, the Executive Director, Partners West Africa Nigeria, Kemi Okenyodo, said the workshop was organised for the purpose of coordinating the security and intelligence agencies in the country with a bid to ensuring that information is processed with a view to ensuring effective response to our public safety security challenges.