Reps Sectoral Debate: Why security environment remain fluid, unpredictable – CAS NAF

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By Joy Odor

The Service Chiefs and other security agencies on Tuesday affirmed security of Nigeria is improving remarkably due to intelligence gathering network of security agencies and massive deployment of their operational assets- to tackle the myriad of security challenges facing the country.

This was made know when the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Gen Chris Musa, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS) Admiral IKechukwu Ogala, Chief of Air Staff Air (CAS), Marshal Hassan Abububakar and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Olukayode Egbetokun spoke at the Sectoral Debate organized by the House of Representatives assuring that with adequate funding and logistical support, insecurity would be defeated in Nigeria.

Speaking, the Chief of Air Staff, (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abububakar informed that the security environment in the country has remained fluid and unpredictable 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 the theft of crude oil in the South-south has continued to threaten our economy.

However, 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 achieve 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, Air Marshal Abubakar informed that despite achievements recorded, the Nigerian Air Force experienced some challenges that hampered the attainment of its operational objectives which include, Rising cost of aviation fuel, Delays in Release of Funding for Procurements, Complexity in Targeting Terrorists within the Populace, Porous Borders, and Manpower Disposition.

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

Air Marshal Abubakar suggested the House for approval and release of intervention funds for the procurement of jet A-1 to meet budgetary shortfalls, approval of an operational license for the Nigerian Air Force to independently import aviation fuel and addressing delays in release of funding for Nigerian Air Force procurements to enable the timely acquisition of equipment and spares.

He assured that the Nigerian Air Force had continued to conduct independent and joint operations aimed at decimating these criminal elements.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Taoreed Lagbaja said insecurity in thirty six states and the nation’s capital had reduced due to effective intelligence gathering and deployment of ground troops in areas of hiegtened insecurity by the military authorities.

He said the Nigerian Army had established operational bases in the North-East, South-East, North-Central and the South-West geo-political zones to address insurgency, banditary and other criminal activities, saying the major responsibility of the Army is the defence of the nation against external agression and the defeat of insecurity.

COAS noted that Nigerian Army had established Forward Operational Base (FOB) designed to ensure that troops are adequately deployed to respond to emergencies.

On his part, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogala said the Nigerian Navy had been able to secure the nation’s territorial waters despite the resurgence of sea priates and oil thieves in the nation’s maritime dormain.

The CNS stressed that lack of adequate funds and logistics is hampering the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in security the nation’s territorial waters and assured that sea piracy and oil theft will be tackled by the Navy.

According to him, the Nigerian Navy personnel is deployed in 19 states of the federation and there are three operational commands in the geo-political zones viz: South-East, North-Central and South-West.

Similarly, the Inspector -General of Police (IGP) Olukayode Egbetokun said the security of lives and properties which primarily is the responsibility of the Nigeria Police Force is improving due to operational efficiency.

IGP mentioned that lack of operational vehicles, inadequate manpower and inadequate funds are the major challenges that has affected the operational effectiveness of the Police in addressing insecurity.

Before the Service Chiefs were ushered into the chambers, the House Leader Hon Julius Ihonvbere move a motion to relax order of the House to pave way for them to be admitted.

The Speaker thereafter announced the commencement of the sectoral debate reminding members that the debate is solely based on security issues.

In his short address, the Speaker said each speaker will be given 5 minute each to talk on what has been done and call for observance of one minute silence to fallen heroes who died because of insecurity and insurgents in the country shortly after.

Recalled that the 10th House of Representatives had recently launched a Legislative Agenda for effective working of the legislature.

Speaker Abbas said the primary role of the legislature is to make laws even as he promised to work closely with the executive for the benefit of all citizenry, saying the sectoral debate offer an opportunity for Service Chiefs to brief the parliament on steps they are making to ensure security of all citizenry.

The Speaker commended the Service Chiefs for coming to the debate while urging all of them to be open and transparent in their presentations.

The National Assembly complex today filled with different types of gun trucks, bullet proof cars and others from the Service Chiefs to show their presence

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