It is a known fact that business cannot thrive in a turbulent environment when there is absence of peace and tranquility. To this end, the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) held a security Forum in Lagos. The Forum which is otherwise known as ‘SECURITY MEETS BUSINESS DIALOGUE SERIES’ by LCCI was attended by virtually all the nation’s security agencies both military and paramilitary. Security chiefs took their turns to speak about their plans to ensure that the country is not only safe for residing, but to do business which is paramount to investors and their foreign counterparts.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai was elated and highly honoured when he was invited to speak to the revered audience. In his words “It is my pleasure to once again learn my voice to the avowed efficacy of this platform especially in providing a suitable avenue for discussing security issues, challenges, and their impact on the economy as well as the way forward with a view to developing appropriate strategies to be employed by the various instruments of national power.” There is no gainsaying the fact that the discourse was equally judicious, coming at a time when the country’s security and development continue to be troubled by a plethora of threats. Such as pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, illegal oil refining including all manner of social vices. Additionally, owing to the porous nature of Nigeria’s borders and indeed globalization, the country continues to grapple with the menace of cross border crimes.
Besides, General Burutai posited that in time past, development and security constituted separate discourses. However, in the contemporary world, matters of security and development are increasingly being discussed in concert, both in relation to discourse and policy, giving rise to what is commonly referred to as the security-development nexus. “It was in consonance with this reality that the former Secretary-General to the United Nations, Dr Koffi Anan, asserted that security and development are inextricably linked.” Burutai equally underscores the fact that, in the spirit of the security-development nexus, contemporary intra-state conflicts and threats such as being experienced in Nigeria cannot be prevented, resolved, or managed exclusively through preventive diplomacy, political negotiations and the use of force.
The COAS commended the President of LCCI, Babatunde Paul Ruwase, the organisers and all members of LCCI for continuing to sustain the organisation of this all-important dialogue series which offers a rare opportunity for Services and Security Agencies to highlight their efforts at combating the multifarious threats facing the nation with a view to providing a secured and enabling environment for developmental activities to thrive. It is indeed common knowledge that the world is currently evolving at a faster pace due to technological advancement, geo-political shifts and new economic realities. In his words “As it is, nations across the globe are experiencing strategic changes and forming new alliances as well, in order to place themselves in a better stead to curb their individual and collective threats.”
The Nigerian Army boss made it known that his vision is “To have a Professionally Responsive army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles,” is intended to ensure a seamless connection between the ends, the ways and the means of tackling insecurity as the army continues to be the pride of the nation in safeguarding its territorial integrity and providing a safe, secured and enabling environment for development activities in Nigeria. He revealed that more military exercises are being planned for this year towards tackling the existing and emerging security challenges in the country. In the same light, the challenges of increased militancy, pipeline vandalism and kidnapping in the Southern part of the country have been accorded appropriate attention through the establishment and eventual operationalization of 6 Division, Nigeria Army with its Head Quarters in Port Harcourt.
In terms of logistics, the army has been addressing the logistic challenges confronting it by ensuring the provision of combat supplies in the field through effective procurement and maintenance systems. Emphasis have been placed on end-user needs assessments, bidding, vendor and sample evaluation supported by professional and technical pre-shipment inspections. Additionally, life cycle maintenance Memorandum of Understanding in contractual agreements for procurement of new equipment has also been put in place. Therefore, in an effort to improve operational capabilities, new platforms, surveillance and communication equipment were procured and deployed into the theatre of operations.
Security measures are aimed at ensuring that, through effective synergy and collaboration with sister services and Agencies, the threats to the security of our nation are holistically confronted so as to provide the necessary enabling environment that would attract Foreign Direct Investment and other developmental activities.
Burutai appreciated the president and members of LCCI for their support to the Nigerian Army in various ways, “I am profoundly thankful particularly to those who as individuals or through their private organizations or firms have continued to partner with the Nigerian Army in various developmental efforts. May I equally use this opportunity to solicit your continuous support for and collaboration with Nigerian Army formations and units around you especially on the grounds of corporate social responsibilities so as to contribute in motivating our troops towards a better performance of their security duties thus helping in your own way to hasten the pace with which security meets development in tune with the caption of this dialogue series.”