The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) has urged the Defence Attachés/Advisers to develop new strategies towards addressing the security threats bedeviling the country.
The Minister made the call Tuesday at the opening of the Defence Advisers/Attachés 2019 Annual Conference organised by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Abuja.
He said the nation’s security challenges had taken a different dimension in recent years, and there was need to evaluate and review strategies in order “to evolve a new defence system that would help tackle the challenges.”
Magashi said that beyond the insurgency in the north east, other contemporary security threats ranging from kidnapping, cattle rustling, farmer-herdsmen clashes and associated banditry have continued to threaten the security of our nation.
He said: “This implies that various security agencies in the county must continue to collaborate in tackling these challenges.
“It also means that the security agencies must explore all avenues within their respective system to develop new ways of identifying and confronting the challenges bothering us as a nation.
“Accordingly, this underscores the need for increased coordination, collaboration and synergy among our security agencies in order to create an enabling environment for economic growth and development as well as preservation of our democracy.”
He said the conference was a vital mechanism for which the DIA evaluate, formulate and review strategic policies, adding that it woukd create an avenue for performance evaluation and improvement of defence advisory system.
The commended the defence attachés for working tirelessly in building the emerging framework for a peaceful and a prosperous Nigeria through the defence collaboration with other countries of accreditation.
According to him, this year’s conference just like the previous one, provides the participants the opportunity and avenue to discuss crucial national and growing trending issues in line with the national interest.
He said: “It therefore brings to fore, the need for the agency in conjunction with the sister security agencies to explore available options at both domestic and international levels in addressing contemporary security challenges which would be in consonance with the Federal Government’s effort at ensuring safety, security and a conducive atmosphere for our citizens.
“The defence Attachés and Advisers have important role to play in this regard by forging understanding, cooperation with security and Defence agencies in countries they are accredited.
“There is no doubt that the defence advisers/attaché system play a crucial role in confronting Nigeria’s security challenges in furtherance to our national development.
“It is therefore imperative that you take advantage of the opportunity provided to harness the potentials of the Defence Attaché System in order to effectively contribute to the country’s security efforts.”
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Sani Usman, said the theme of the conference: “Enhancing Inter Agency Collaboration in response to current and Anticipated Threats in Nigeria’s Security Environment: The Role of the Defence Attachés System”, was a clear indicator of DIA’s focus within the overall government’s effort to ensure the security and prosperity of the country.
He said the current security environment was challenging, dynamic, complex, complicated and inherently laced with uncertainty, adding that the prevailing situation had had profound consequences on the nation’s well-being and national cohesion.
Usman said the DIA had articulated and implemented significant steps aimed at degrading those dangers and curbing their effects on the society and economy, adding that more needed to be done to change the current security predicaments.
According to him, the agency has demonstrated a renewed commitment to making the intelligence enterprise decisive and responsive to our current needs while preparing for future contingencies.
He said: “In the last one year, the Agency has made significant improvements to its competences, capacity for service delivery and the requisite capabilities to deliver.
“Most evident are the infrastructural developments aimed at creating the right environment to incubate forward thinking ideas and problem solving, while also providing the optical credibility befitting to our Agency.
“In addition, increased training have been undertaken, both in country and abroad to increase the capacity of our esteemed staff to function optimally and meet the set objectives of the Agency and the needs of our Armed Forces.
“My focus in the coming days is to bring this collective of values into action. This is where our esteemed Defence Attaches come into play.
“Given the threat spectrum that we face ranging from terrorism to transnational crimes, violent attacks and armed banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping, blackmail and extortion, cyber-crimes to fraud, it should be obvious that no single entity will be able to successfully prevent, deter or decimate these threats without the cooperation of other services and the public.
“Our future success is hinged on bringing all our collective effort to bear on securing our people and prosperity through increased inter agency collaboration and operation at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.”
Usman urged the participants to work to further developing Nigeria’s relationships with its foreign partners by ensuring the protection of Nigeria’s interests and as well as its citizens and their assets in their designated areas of responsibility.
He also urged them to be keen on political, economic and security developments that could have direct or indirect consequences on Nigeria.