By Bukar Bolori
The Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Audi has attributed the rise in crimes and criminal activities in the country on unpatriotic pastime of informants within the security services and in the society.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ summit on protection of critical national assets and infrastructure at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, with the theme, ‘Synergy: Panacea to effective critical assets and infrastructure protection,’ Audi called for engagement with community, religious and political leaders to address the security challenges plaguing the country.
He also stressed the need to re-strategise to better protect national assets from the onslaught of bad elements.
Audi said the upsurge in crime and threats constituted a threat to critical national assets and infrastructure as witnessed in some states, including Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno and other states in the north.
The CG recalled a statement by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who revealed that the federal government spends a whopping N60 billion annually on repair and maintenance of vandalised oil pipelines across the country.
He said it behoves on the stakeholders to identify key national assets and their level of vulnerability while addressing the potential threat to such infrastructure.
Audi said: “You will agree with me that the nefarious activities of these criminal elements are being strengthened not only by informants within security formations but equally those within the society; hence the need to engage our traditional rulers, religious, community, political and youth leaders in the process of finding a solution to this menace.”
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, lamented that the threats to national assets and infrastructure continue to escalate due to the insecurity in the country.
He, however insisted that the federal government was committed to rooting out every threat to the corporate existence of the nation, while providing round-the-clock protection to critical national assets and infrastructure.
Aregbesola who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, said the federal government has now classified schools and educational institutions as critical national assets and infrastructure in other to focus more efforts and resources to provide a safer and more secured teaching and learning environment in our schools and educational institutions.
The Minister said “the federal government, and the various states and locals are currently massively investing in the development and construction of various infrastructure that would support employment generation, poverty reduction and the comfort and wellbeing of the Nigerian people.”