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Our Take: Nigerian security experts are becoming more poorly equipped to respond to the new security threats efficiently. This is due to financial constraints and poor access to training on the use of cutting-edge security gadgets. Since security is crucial to economic and national development, it’s critical to review and revise the approaches of dealing with insecurity and recruit digitally-inclined leaders into security institutions.
Our security sector leaders are increasingly ill-equipped to understand, visualize, or respond effectively to the modern security environment. One can even be bold to say, they have lost control; pure & simple.
There are many problems facing Nigeria in this regard. Some are Organisational, Structural & Cultural; others are Financial limitations & poor Training. Our security is being managed by Analogue leaders in a Digital world.
I have put together a 25 step intervention plan to revamp and secure our national security space. It’s a multi-agency strategy cutting across different areas of government. If fully implemented; It will stem the insecurity epidemic going on and deliver economic growth for all.
Without security, there will be no growth. Nations growing tend to also be the safest. The two are irretrievably linked. But in this thread, I will mention only 7 of the steps that are most easy to comprehend. Others are more Tactical in nature and I will not reveal those.
RESTORE CREDIBLE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF SECURITY AGENCIES
All the leaders of our security agencies have lost credibility with most stakeholders and they need to be replaced. Cooperation will be easier with new managers appointed based on merit.
Also, their continuing in post MUST be related to the result. No more reinforcing failures in security leadership. It must be results-based. Security Leaders who are disliked by their team and Nigerian for incompetence will never get the cooperation needed to make an impact.
So confidence in leadership is essential. There is a need for more adaptive, strategically-minded leadership in our security community.
REVAMP OUR SECURITY ARCHITECTURE & CULTURE
There is need to do a root and branch reform of our security estate which has remained mostly same since the military era that created them. Do we have too many silos? Do we merge some of them? Are they joined up? NCSDC carry gun…
…NPF carry gun. Customs carry Gun. SSS carry Gun. Even FRSC also want carry Gun. Yet we are not safe. The major change is needed. We need to re-examine the coordination mechanisms, laws, and patterns of interaction between our plethora of security outfits and then consolidate.
In today’s era of ever-increasing globalisation, coupled with asymmetric threats, our national security estate must create a joint inter-agency training & operating environment for its future leaders. If this pipeline is not created; we will simply produce more of the same…
…bad leaders. We need leaders and practitioners who think about “National Security” & not just the interest of their agency and its corrupt bosses. Barriers to effective information management are a recurring theme in our national security estate. At the tactical level,…
…there is clear evidence that a lack of interagency ICT is preventing effective coordination. From simple voice radios to complex voice and data networks, different agencies have different standards and equipment that does not fulfill any interoperability, accessibility…
… or compatibility considerations in the national interest. At the ground level, equipment shortfalls make it almost impossible to coordinate efforts between agencies. So each outfit just goes on a frolic of their own working at cross purposes with one another.
REFORM OUR INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING AGENCIES & CAPABILITIES
Failure of Intelligence is the biggest weakness in our national security estate. Adequate Funds are no allocated and leaders do not prioritize intelligence gathering or operationalise Intelligence-led policing.
The SSS like many of its counterparts in the world should learn to be heard but not seen. They are supposed to operate in the shadows & use the police to front arrests etc. Just like MI5 in the UK, they should be doing their work in the background and not become political thugs…
…going everywhere in masks and machine guns. Also, a common Intelligence platform/system should be created. This MUST sit across all security institutions. Similar to the Homeland Security platform in the USA.
NATIONALISE CRIMES & VICTIMOLOGY
The police must approach some crimes as national threats. So it is not good enough to displace crimes from one state to another. A national approach must be taken.
The pattern of victim creation must also be studied to see pattern that can give effect to pro-active policing rather than the reactive responses we currently get.
INVEST IN BORDER SECURITY & PROTECTION
Until we are able to control & know who comes in & out of Nigeria, we will become the destination of choice for criminality from all over the ECOWAS. Resources must be made available to implement technological solutions for border management
USE REGIONAL SOFT POWER BETTER
We are relied upon by many neighbouring nations for all manner of essential items & services. We must leverage this goodwill to strengthen Intl cooperation from these nations to play their part in blocking the export of criminality into Nigeria.
CREATE A MULTI-YEAR NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY
Nation security governance requires simultaneously dealing with different issues in different ways while recognising and using to good effect the linkages between them. Just as many of the threats we face…
…are mutually exacerbating, their solutions can also be mutually reinforcing. We are more likely to make progress on speciﬁc security issues if we work on them in the context of a broader agenda. We need to be strategic and stop simply being tactical.
• There is a need for the replacement of all of the security agency heads who have lost credibility.
• The SSS, like many of its counterparts around the world, must learn to be heard but not seen to restructure our security sector. They’re meant to work in the background, using the police to make arrests and so on.
• Our security sector, which has largely remained unchanged since the military age that created it, need a complete overhaul
• Some crimes must be treated as national dangers by the police. As a result, just transferring crimes from one state to another is insufficient. It is necessary to take a national approach.
About the Author(s)
Dr. Charles Omole is a Lawyer, Security consultant, Trainer and Strategist to businesses and governments across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Source: The Charles Omole’s Viewpoint
Keywords: Security Leaders, National insecurity, Government, Technological Solutions