PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu has instructed the nation’s service chiefs to develop a comprehensive plan to address the ravaging insecurity, including crude oil theft, in the country.
Tinubu, who issued the directive during his first meeting with the service chiefs at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday, June 1, also demanded increased collaboration among the heads of security agencies for efficiency.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, said that the President tasked the security chiefs on the necessity of avoiding conflicting actions and instead striving towards a unified purpose.
“The President has emphasised the importance of the security agencies redoubling their efforts to move the country forward. He believes in contemporary security measures that meet the demands of the present time.”
He said that Tinubu made it clear that the nation’s deteriorating security fortunes cannot be accepted, urging the agencies to work in unison with a coordinated approach.
“Having been briefed by the participants of the meeting, Mr. President, addressed prevailing issues confronting the nation in terms of insecurity and also mentioned his own philosophy towards dealing with national security issues.
“He is already mandated by the security agencies to come up with a blueprint as far as he knows as far as it’s concerned, it doesn’t have the luxury of time. And whatever changes will be made have to be done as soon as possible,” he said in part.
“The President also has decided that whatever ventures the armed forces are going to be engaged in, they must carry along those operatives in the theatre. They must be well fed, well kitted, motivated and given all that they require.
“The President has said clearly that he will do whatever is within his powers to enable the operational elements but the intelligence agencies must also make their work easy for them by providing the type of intelligence that they require to carry out the assignment.”
According to Monguno, the President expressed his desire to reform the nation’s security sector, stating that he would utilise his powers to facilitate the operational elements, while also emphasising the responsibility of intelligence agencies to provide the necessary information for successful missions.
He said that Tinubu further stressed the importance of inclusivity and support for operatives in the field, adding that the armed forces must ensure the well-being, adequate provisions, and motivation of their personnel involved in various operations.
“He is going to embark on a lot of reforms in terms of our security architecture, he is going to take a closer look at our misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft, that is not going to tolerate. Wherever the problem is coming from, it must be crushed as soon as possible,” he added.
Those in attendance include the Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; and Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.
Nigeria is currently confronted with many security challenges spanning various regions. The North-West and North-Central regions are contending with banditry, while the North-East is still grappling with more than decade threat of Boko Haram. The South-West and South-South regions are experiencing separatist movements, while the South-South is facing issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Data by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) have shown that non-state actors killed 31,821 people between May 2015 and April 2023 during the reign of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Similarly, according to the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at N16.25 trillion ($46.16 billion) to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.