Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says the launch of the 2019 National Security Strategy, NSS, by President Muhammadu Buhari shows his commitment to tackling Nigeria’s security challenges.
Mrs Umar-Farouq stated this at a two-day National Security Seminar organised by Nigerian Army Resource Centre, NARC, in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja on Thursday in Abuja.
She said that the theme of the seminar ‘’Evaluating the National Security Challenges in Nigeria and the Way Forward’’ was apt given the security situation in the country.
The minister gave the assurance that the ministry would do everything possible to work with security agencies to return displaced persons in the north east to places that are safe.
“Mr President has given us the assignment and we are working with the state governors and the agencies that are saddled with the responsibility of recovery and development.
“The recent signing of the 2019 NSS by Mr President gives credence to the seriousness of this administration in ensuring a safe environment and by extension the nation at large.
“It is no longer news that the increasing rate of terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery among other social vices are some of the associated consequences of past failures to adequately engage youths.
“In this regard, the ministry is working very hard to see that we come up with policies and programmes of government that will give social inclusion to our citizens thereby reaching the most vulnerable in the society.
“All these vices and many others could be largely attributed to the high level of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
“We are working with different government agencies to see that we tackle that; in realizing the president’s June 12 pronouncement of uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,’’ she said.
Mrs Umar-Farouq said that the seminar, which brought together critical stakeholders in the security sector would yield positive result in addressing national security challenges.
She however called for synergy and inter-agency collaboration among security agencies in terms of intelligence gathering and information sharing to ensure effective service delivery within security community.
The minister commended the armed forces, police and other security agencies for their steadfastness and commitment in the discharge of their constitutional roles, urging them to do more.
She expressed the hope that the outcome of the seminar would produce outcome for new input to the national security architecture of the nation.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the seminar was important in providing lasting solution to the security challenges that are confronting the nation.
Mr Buratai said that seminar was part of the numerous efforts in ensuring that major stakeholders continuously review the security situation and come up with modalities and steps to contain the developments.
According to him, issues of security must constantly be examined, analysed and solutions proffered in order to contain them due to the ever changing and transmuting nature of security challenges and threats.
“Such threats could emanate from within the system or externally generated but whichever be the case, we must be abreast and be proactive rather than reactive to any development.
“Earlier this month, the president launched the reviewed NSS and the provisions therein are preparing activities at the strategic level.
“The majority of participants at this seminar are the practitioners who are to provide the appropriate input in line with the provision of the NSS at the operational as well as the tactical levels.
“It is therefore necessary to engage in this type of exercise as part of the process of understanding ourselves for better performance in the provision of security in the country.
“Understanding the trends and limitations of the various agencies, understanding requirements of responsibilities therein and constantly communicating among ourselves will help reduce the negative perceptions about each other,’’ he said.
Mr Buratai said that the outcome of the seminar and recommendations from the proceedings of the seminar would be communicated to the various agencies for proper understanding and implementation.
He commended the president for the establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, adding that it would fill the gap in the provision of humanitarian assistance in the crisis areas.