The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd) has revealed that the reason the armed forces are drafted into civil matters is because Nigeria Police are overstretched and therefore unable to cope with most of the complexity and intensity of the numerous security challenges in the country.
Speaking at a one-day workshop on strategic forum for heads of security agencies of the 36 states and the FCT, organised by the Department of State Services (DSS), he further revealed that the volume of seized, smuggled items since August this year had hit N3.5 billion.
He also revealed that the involvement of the armed forces in civil authority had resulted in the reduction in Nigerian troops’ contribution to Peace Support Operations (PSO) in order to address internal security.
The military aspect of national security refers not just to responses to military threats but the use of military instruments to address broader security issues. A key aspect is securing our territorial integrity as enshrined in our constitution.
“However, the complexity and intensity of the numerous security challenges in the country have necessitated the involvement of the armed forces to participate in aid of civil authority. This is primarily due to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force has been overstretched in containing most of the threat situations.
“The situation has caused the reduction in Nigeria’s troop contribution to Peace Support Operations (PSO) in order to address internal security concerns. Nonetheless, the major involvement of the military has been the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency campaign in the North East,” he noted.
Disclosing the effects insecurity has had on the economy, he said: “The activities of violent non-state actors especially terrorists in the North East, armed bandits in the North West and North Central as well as militants and sea robbers in the South-South, continue to impact heavily on Nigeria’s economy.
“For instance, farming which provides livelihood for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population especially in the northern part of the country has been disrupted by terrorism/insurgency in the area thereby adversely affecting revenue generation in the agricultural sector.
“Smuggling of prohibited items such as parboiled rice, poultry and petroleum products has also taken its toll on the nation’s economy. However, the remarkable monetary value of the seized items during Operation SWIFT Response from August 20, 2019 till date, currently stands at about N3.5 billion. The implication is that funds meant for improving other sectors of the economy are being channeled to address current and emerging security concerns,” he lamented.
The Director General DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, in his welcome address at the event held at the National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, appealed for synergy among the security agents.
“We need synergy among the security agencies to confront the challenges of insecurity because no single agency can do it alone. There must synergy in intelligence gathering and sharing,” he appealed.