The Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research has chosen February 28th and March 1, 2022 for its forthcoming National Stakeholders Summit to address vandalisation of critical infrastructure and business assets in Nigeria.
According to the Centre, the Summit will hold at Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, with the theme: ‘Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructure, Monuments And Business Assets’.
At a pre-event conference held Tuesday in Abuja, Chief of Strategic Planning & Innovations and Head of Secretariat of the Centre, Chiakor Alfred (PhD), recalled that the last two decades have demonstrated clearly that the nature of threats to Nigeria’s security have changed significantly.
Among these bottlenecks, he highlighted structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalisation, degradation and destruction of Nigeria’s critical national infrastructures, monuments and business assets; terrorism, insurgency, cyber-‐crimes, banditry, kidnapping, piracy, oil bunkering, drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime, adding that these vices have created an entirely new security environment.
According to him, Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from classic military conflict between states.
“The gross expansion of the contours that define security boundaries makes it imperative to recognize the eco-‐systemic dimensions of the threats that stare at us daily and in every form,” he noted.
Alfred said the rampancy and intensity of the vandalisation and destruction of Nigeria’s infrastructures and assets prompted the call to arms by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security Establishment and all Nigerians to see it as a patriotic duty to ensure maximum vigilance and shared responsibility in the protection and security of these Assets and platforms at all points in their life-cycle.
Projections of the Summit
In the light of this, he said the National Stakeholders Summit is therefore a Private/Public Sector Partnership that aims at galvanizing responsibility and synergy for the prioritization of the Multi Agency/ Joint Risk Management Efforts to ensure the security and resilience of Nigeria’s critical national assets, in line with the Risk Management Framework of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022), and also, the Critical National Infrastructure Bill under consideration at the National Assembly.
His words: “These projections of the Summit are consistent with the provisions of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022); the National Security Strategy Framework; and the Critical National Infrastructure Bill currently under consideration at the National Assembly; the re-engineering of appropriate legislations; and the strategic roadmap for harnessing expert knowledge and country wide technical support for deterrence, codified response strategy and recovery architecture to Nigeria’s critical assets.
“The Summit further aims to deepen advocacy; harness expert/operational knowledge and country wide technical support to enhance deterrence, threat mitigation and desired security outcomes; and sustain confidence building through robust interface with all Stakeholders including Nigeria’s National and State Houses of Assembly; the Armed Forces, Security and Intelligence Agencies; Statutory Regulators in the diverse Sectors of Nigeria’s productive economy; Investors/ Business Owners; Operators of the Infrastructures and Assets; Professional and Civil Society Organizations; the Traditional Institution, Socio Cultural and Pressure Groups, etc.
The centre believed that by building inter/multi sectoral synergy, the Summit shall engender Stakeholders and citizens with shared responsibilities towards achieving the institutionalization of the road map and priorities of the policy frameworks crafted to provide deterrence, security and resilience of Nigeria’s assets.
It is also the expectation of the Conveners that the derivatives from the Summit shall enhance knowledge leadership & management, regenerate confidence in securing Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s productive Sectors as canvassed by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, at different international fora; and also boost capital growth and turnkey business startups and development.”
Alfred further stressed that the security of lives, infrastructures, monuments and assets is the collective responsibility of every citizen, whether private or public.
He noted that issues of security, destruction of lives and property know neither religion nor ethnicity.
The Clarion Call
The Centre called on the partnership and support of all stakeholders, both in the Public and Private Sectors, with diverse political, religious and professional orientations to put aside all prejudices to help forge a common front to confront the monster that is threatening the integrity of our corporate existence as a people and as a nation.
“It is time also to live the slogan that says “if you see something, say something. If you hear something, do something.
“It is incumbent on us all therefore to engage robustly on how to deter and mitigate these challenges in a systematic and coordinated manner.
“This way, we can be sure of preserving our collective heritage and the sanctity of our God endowed resources, human, technical and material.”