National security :
Comptroller Uba calls for greater synergy among security agencies
*Says joint training of security officials is vital
By Udeme Clement :
The Coordinator, North Central Joint Border Operations Drill, JBOD, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has declared that his team is focused and un-deterred on the war against smuggling.
Comptroller Uba, whose area of operations covers Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Benue States, called for greater collaboration among security agencies in the country.
He made these assertions, while speaking at the Customs Regional College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on ‘Importance of inter-agency collaboration and national security’.
According to him, “The Nigerian nation is facing security challenges from the political environment, militancy, terrorism and banditry perpetrated by some unpatriotic individuals. To curb menace, operational synergy by various security agencies in the country is very crucial in handling issues of national security”.
Comptroller Uba, who commended the top Customs management under the watch of CGC Ali Hameed, for actively being part of the One Stop Border Post, OSBP, harps on effective information sharing and intelligence among security agencies as very vital in national security.
He pointed out, “Kidnapping remains
a huge security challenge in the country at the moment.
“Initially, kidnapping of expatriates was predominant in the South /South region but now, the situation is so bad that everyone is in fear. Serving government officials are not spared in the kidnapping menace, even as their family members and friends have become targets.”
He went on, “Boko-Haram insurgency has destabilised the North/East region of the country. Record shows that since 2009, the group has killed thousands of innocent citizens and displaced millions. About 2.5 million residents fled their homes due to insurgency.
“The direct consequence of the conflict is that the North/East region is plunged into severe humanitarian crisis. As at 2018, about 7.7 million people were in need of humanitarian aid.”
He continued, “Another worrisome security issue is Farmers-herders clashes, especially in the Middle Belt. The region and other areas are faced with prolonged violent clashes between predominantly Christian farmers and mostly Muslim cattle herders, which has resulted in many casualties, as well as destruction of farmlands. In 2018 alone, more than 2,000 people were killed in such clashes.
“Armed Robbery is another security threat in the country. Just recently, a new trend of robbery, which was quite different in outlook took place at Offa, Kwara State and Isanlu, Kogi State, where many police officers and private security personnel lost their lives.
“Incidences of armed robbery have become a daily routine in many parts of the country. Aside from public institutions like banks as targets, major highways across the country are not spared, as commuters are routinely being attacked and dispossessed of their valuables on the roads”.
Comptroller Uba stressed that insecurity has adverse economic implications on the entire nation, as it reduces Foreign Directs Investments, FDI, thereby affecting income flow for federal and sub-national governments.
On the way forward, he advised, “Government should put in place strategic directives to avoid unnecessary confusion among the agencies. Also, there is need for government to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies to avoid unnecessary conflicts.”
He mentioned joint training and retraining programmes for officials of participating agencies and improved welfare package for security personnel.