FG unveils think-tank to protect critical infrastructure soon

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By Isah Hussein

The Presidential Think-Tank on Defence and Security in collaboration with Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research is set to formally unveil its National Summit on ; ” Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets” which is scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, from 6th – 7th December, 2021.

This is contained in a press statement issued at the Petrus Hotel Royal, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, on Wednesday, November 18, 2021, signed by the Chairman, Presidential Think Tank on Defence & Security and Chairman, Summit Planning Committee, Maj Gen. AM Jibril (rtd) LLB, LLM, MA, MBA, DSS, GSS, PSC, Fwc, CMH.

  1. The National Summit, according to the statement is basically in response to the call-to-arms by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security establishments, business owners as well as to all residents of Nigeria to work in concert to “reducing the vulnerability of the Nation’s Critical National Infrastructure to threats and hazards, on the one hand, and improving the resilience of such critical national infrastructure by strengthening their ability to withstand and recover from disruption.”
  2. This will involve a number of measures ranging from:

a. Physical protection to prevent damage or disruption;

b. Building a level of reliability into them so that they can continue to operate even after an attack;

C. Ensuring that there are back-up systems; to

d. Putting in place organisations that can rapidly respond effectively to threat events to enable such infrastructure recover quickly from disruptions.

The statement highlights some of these critical national infrastructures as consisting of ;

a. those facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes necessary for a country to function and upon which daily life depends.

It also includes some functions, sites and organisations which are not critical to the maintenance of essential services, but which need protection due to the potential dangers they could pose to the public in the event of an emergency (civil nuclear and chemicals sites for example).

b. some parts of the National Infrastructure system that are judged to be critical to the functioning of the country.

Those critical elements of Infrastructure (facilities, virtual and physical systems, sites, property, information, people, networks and processes), the loss or compromise of which would result in major detrimental impact on the availability, delivery or integrity of essential services, leading to severe economic or social consequences or to loss of life.

  1. Maj Gen. AM Jibril (rtd) said that the Summit will get owners of such Critical National Infrastructure to network with subject-matter experts to bring their whole-of-society perspectives to bear in developing or contributing to the development of policy.
  2. On the timing of constitution of the Think-Tank committee, he said “our world has changed! We are seeing agitations for all sorts of causes easily turning violent…and what these nonstate actors readily focus on are humans and some of these critical national assets…vandalization and destruction of assets in the Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, ICT, Maritime, Education, Railways, Banking and other resources in the Public and Organised Private Sectors, etc.”

Such actions he said “undermine investor confidence; inhibit the drive for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and capital growth, and truncate real business development in all sectors of the productive economy”.

“In other words, productivity drops, rise in out-of-jobbers, poverty increases, resentment and more violence…development is either stagnated or declines. We are seeing these in virtually all the geopolitical zones, therefore, a grave impact on our collective national interest”.

“No society will allow such hence this Summit”.

He said that the Presidential Think-Tank is also in consultations with some of the leading Security Experts and institutions with specialized capabilities to develop this nationwide seamless Enterprise Architecture to harvest a wide range of innovative technological options to achieve the desired solution outcomes.

The forthcoming National Summit has as its main theme: “Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets.” There are also sub themes under which proceedings shall be anchored.

He said the resource persons scheduled to make presentations on critical themes and topics at the Summit include;

a. Prof Niran Oluwaranti – Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. Who will be speaking on the topic; “Institutionalizing early warning systems and response architecture for threats to Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets”.

b. Maj Gen Emeka Onumajuru DSS,PSC+,PSC (J),fdc+,UNISOM II- Deputy Commandant National Defence College, Abuja to speak on ;”Systematizing a framework for Intelligence generation, information management and tracking against threats to Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets”

c Prof UA Tar Head, Centre for Defence Studies and Documentation, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna who will speak on the theme: “Domesticating frameworks and protocols for the stratification, codification and protection of national Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets”

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