The Nigerian Military possesses technological capabilities. This was disclosed by Rear Admiral Peter Onaji, who represented the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, at the 2019 edition of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI Security Meets Business Dialogue Session, held at the LCCI premises, Commerce House, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. “One of the principal departments at the Defense Headquarters, is the Defense Space Agency, which concerns itself with cyberspace, working with other security agencies, such as the Police”, he stressed.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase, stated that, security of life and property is a very critical factor in the investment environment and a major consideration in investment decisions. “Businesses cannot thrive in environment that is unsafe or perceived as insecure”, he observed. He explained that the session was the third in the series of annual security roundtable organized by the chamber, which is a forum for the exchange of ideas between the private sector, diplomatic corps and the various security agencies , on the security situation in the country. “The essence is to deliberate on how we can collaborate to make our environment more secure”, he concluded.
The Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, ably represented by Dr (Mrs) Shade Kefas, also expressed the importance of maintaining a secured environment in the country, as this will, among other things, attract Foreign Direct Investment to our shores. In his own presentation, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Dr. Abdulrazaq Balogun, stated the role of the Trust Fund, as being supportive of the various security agencies, especially, in terms of procuring equipment and logistics for them. He stated that the fund used in carrying out these come from voluntary donations from corporate bodies and individuals in Lagos State. He solicited for more of such voluntary donations from those that have not keyed in to it.
Edgal Imohimi, Commissioner of Police, Lagos state, in his own presentation, gave the main strategy that has worked in improving the security situation in Lagos state, ass his decision to embark on community policing through a process driven by people. The result of this, he stated, is the downward trend of crime perpetrated in Lagos State over the years, to the extent that night life has returned to Lagos, to the delight of those in the hospitality business sector.
Rear Admiral M.M. Kadiri, who represented the Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, in his own presentation, stated that, when the earlier Navy outfits were established back then, their essence was to protect commerce, but now, they are also used in fighting wars to protect the territorial waters of countries. He, however, detests the situation where, operators of foreign ships prefer to contact the International Maritime Bureau, located in Asia, when they are in distressed closed by here in Nigeria, where they can quickly receive attention and relieve. He also stated that the prosecution of pirates is slow; hence, he advocated the establishment of a Maritime Crime Court to try cases of piracy to quickly dispense with those cases.
The Commandant of the NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Tajudeen Balogun, explained the roles that the NSCDC is saddled with, which includes protection of critical infrastructure, such as oil pipelines and power lines. The corps is also the custodian of private guard companies in Nigeria. He, therefore, implored any organization or individual employing private guards to confirm their authenticity with the NSCDC, in order to make the environment safe.
Angela Waldo, from the Spanish Embassy, gave a diplomatic angle to the discussion, when she stressed that, it is important that security is taken seriously in order to ensure that, Foreign Direct Investment flows into the country.
The 2019 LCCI Security Meets Business Dialogue Session was attended by members of the business community and the security agencies in Nigeria, which are the Military, Police and the NSCDC.