• Monday, June 17, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Why Nigeria’s security environment is unpredictable— Service chiefs

Why Nigeria’s security environment is unpredictable— Service chiefs

Nigeria’s service chiefs said on Tuesday said there has been improvement in security due to the intelligence gathering network and massive deployment of security operational assets to tackle the country’s myriads of challenges. However, they admitted to the unpredictability of the security environment.

They stated this when Chris Musa (Gen), the chief of defence staff (CDS); Taoreed Lagbaja (Lt-Gen), chief of army staff (COAS); IKechukwu Ogala (Admiral), chief of naval staff (CNS); Hassan Abububakar (Marshal), chief of air staff air (CAS), and Olukayode Egbetokun, the inspector-general of police (IGP), appeared at a sectoral debate organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja. The security chiefs assured that with adequate funding and logistical support, the insecurity in Nigeria would be defeated.

Read also: Insecurity: Senate invites NSA, Service chiefs, IGP, others for closed-door meeting

Speaking further, Abububakar, the air force chief, said that the security environment in the country has remained fluid and unpredictable due to threats posed by terrorists in the north as well as an upsurge in banditry and kidnapping activities across the entire country.

He said IPOB/ESN has also been causing mayhem in the southeast, just as crude oil theft in the south-south has continued to threaten the economy.

The CAS told the House that in furtherance of efforts to tackle the security challenges, the Nigerian Air Force has continued to conduct independent and joint operations aimed at decimating these criminal elements.

He said NAF achieved this with over 24,795 sorties with over 27, 769 hours flown while consuming over 15,864,796 litres of Jet A-1 fuel, adding that a total of 357 bombs, 15, 128 rockets and 33,743 cannons were expended.

Speaking on the bottlenecks, Abubakar informed that despite achievements recorded, the air force experienced some challenges that hampered the attainment of its operational objectives which include, the rising cost of aviation fuel, delays in the release of funds for procurements, complexity in targeting terrorists within the populace, porous borders, and manpower disposition.

The CAS noted that the country’s land borders, including those with Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, and Togo, spanning about 4,000km, were mostly insecure and poorly manned, saying the porous borders exacerbated arms proliferation and illegal movement of people and goods, which contribute to the problem of insecurity and further enable insurgents to operate freely.

Abubakar urged the House to approve the release of intervention funds for the procurement of jet A-1 to meet budgetary shortfalls, approval of an operational licence for the Nigerian Air Force to independently import aviation fuel and address delays in the release of funds for procurement to enable timely acquisition of equipment and spares.

On his part, Lagbaja the army chief, said insecurity in 36 states and the nation’s capital has reduced due to effective intelligence gathering and deployment of ground troops in areas of heightened insecurity by the military authorities.

He said the Nigerian Army established operational bases in the northeast, southeast, north-central, and southwest geo-political zones to address insurgency, banditry, and other criminal activities.

Ogala, the naval chief, said the Nigerian Navy had been able to secure the nation’s territorial waters despite the resurgence of sea pirates and oil thieves in the nation’s maritime domain.

Read also: Security forces disperse NLC, TUC protest at Abuja Airport

He also said the lack of adequate funds and logistics was hampering the efforts of the navy in securing the nation’s territorial waters.

According to him, the Nigerian Navy has deployed personnel in 19 states of the federation and there were three operational commands in the southeast, north-central and southwest.

On his part, Egbetokun, the police boss, mentioned the lack of operational vehicles, inadequate manpower and funds as the major challenges affecting the operational effectiveness of the police in tackling insecurity.