Port Harcourt — Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research has decried the increasing spate of vandalization and destruction of national assets in the country, especially in the oil and gas, telecommunications, transportation and power sectors.
To this end, the group has unveiled plans to hold a zonal Summit in Port Harcourt aimed at domesticating stakeholders statutory responsibility in protecting Nigeria’s critical infrastructure and assets in the South South.
Speaking, the Chief of Strategic Planning and Innovations, Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research, Dr Chiakor Alfred, said Summit is a private and public sector partnership that aims at ensuring the security of Nigeria’s critical national assets.
Alfred while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the summit was in line with the risk management framework of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022, the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021; the National Security Strategy Framework; and the Critical National Infrastructure Bill, 2021 currently under consideration at the National Assembly.
“The last two decades have demonstrated clearly that the nature of threats to Nigeria’s security have changed significantly. Structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalism, degradation and destruction of Nigeria’s critical national infrastructures, monuments and business assets; terrorism, insurgency, cyber-crimes, banditry, kidnapping, piracy, oil bunkering, drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime, have created an entirely new security environment.
“Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from classic military conflict between states. The gross expansion of the contours that define security boundaries makes it imperative to recognize the eco-systemic dimensions of the threats that stare at us daily and in every form.
“The South South Zonal Stakeholders Summit aims to intensify advocacy for Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities. It shall also engender the re-engineering of appropriate legislations; and the strategic roadmap for harnessing expert knowledge and country wide technical support for deterrence, codified response strategy and recovery architecture to Nigeria’s critical assets.
“Equally important is the desire to seek renewed commitment to the challenges impacting the integrity of critical infrastructures and assets in the Region, especially the vandalisation and destruction of its complex ecosystem of separate yet interconnected infrastructures in the Oil and Gas; Telecommunications, Transportation and Power Sectors.”
Speaking further the group said diverse Stakeholders will be mobilized to the summit to discuss the challenges impacting the integrity, operations and security of these critical infrastructures and Assets and also seek possible solutions and suggestions.
The Stakeholders, according to Ashcraft Centre, include national and state legislatures; the Armed Forces, statutory regulators in the diverse sectors of Nigeria’s productive economy; investors and business owners; asset operators, professional and civil society, the traditional institution, socio cultural and pressure groups, etc.
“It is also the expectation of the Conveners that the derivatives from the Summit shall enhance knowledge leadership & management, regenerate confidence in securing Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s productive Sectors; and also boost capital growth and turnkey business startups and development.
“The security of lives, infrastructures, monuments and assets is the collective responsibility of every citizen, whether private or public. Issues of security, destruction of lives and property know neither religion nor ethnicity. We are calling on the partnership and support of all Stakeholders, both in the Public and Private Sectors, with diverse political, religious and professional orientations to put aside all prejudices to help forge a common front to confront the monster that is threatening the integrity of our Corporate existence as a people and as a nation.
“It is incumbent on us all therefore to engage robustly on how to deter and mitigate these challenges in a systematic and coordinated manner. This way, we can be sure of preserving our collective heritage and sanctity of our God endowed resources, both human, technical and material.”
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