Experts Call for Investment in Safety at Security Workshop
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lagos, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu, has said that Nigeria's insecurity level may abort her vision to be among the top 20 countries globally.
He sounded the warning as the Keynote Speaker at a security workshop jointly organized by Covenant University's Centre for Economic Policy and Development Research (CEPDeR) and the Ota-Agbara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OTAGCCIMA). The theme of the workshop, held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, was 'Security Dynamics of the Business Environment for Sustainable Development'.
AIG Iliyasu, represented by the Area Commander of the Force, Assistant Commissioner of Police Muyideen Obe, said the approach towards curbing the menace of insecurity and banditry had to change from reactionary to a proactive one. He said the security operation should be targeted at impeding crime instead of responding when people had committed the crime.
He identified porous borders, rural-urban drift, companies' social irresponsibility, unemployment/poverty, terrorism, and insecurity of the business environment as primary and proximate factors that had impeded the country's business ecosystem.
However, the Police Chief said with good governance, leadership development initiative, socio-economic expansion, and elimination of corruption and entrenchment of social justice, the country's issues could be reduced to the barest minimum.
The Honourable Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment in Ogun State, Mrs Kikelomo Longe, represented by the ministry’s Director of Industrial Promotion, Engr. Kehinde Akintomide, commended CEPDeR and OTAGCCIMA for evolving a platform of the security workshop to x-ray security-related issues that militated against a favourable business environment, both in the community and the nation.
Mrs Longe said security matters must be participatory and an all-inclusive affair that must cut across academia's involvement to the public and private sectors, civil societies, youths, women organizations, traditional and community leaders, faith-based bodies and the media.
She said the State Government would soon commence implementing a resident identification scheme to provide a reliable database of residents in the state, to ensure equitable development of the state and help identify the who-is-who in the state.
While declaring the workshop open, the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, said while Nigeria had experienced an unprecedented wave of insecurity in recent times, the prevailing threats had prompted government at all levels to allocate huge resources to security in the annual budget, but the level of insecurity in the country remained high.
Professor Adebayo noted that the nation was ranked low in the 2020 Global Peace Index, placing 147 out of the 163 countries ranked, with her security challenges finding expression in economic, social, political, and religious dimensions.
"The insecurity problem has resulted in the unprecedented diversion of scarce resources in the national budget to the acquisition of sophisticated military hardware. Consequently, capital projects in the education, health, agriculture and construction sectors are denied the needed attention. The looming danger associated with increasing insecurity and its effect on sustainable development calls for a roundtable to identify and propose sustainable solutions," Professor Adebayo posited.
At a technical session with a focus on technological, human/electronic intelligence and surveillance, the academic perspective of security was discussed to help policymakers, security operatives, and government representatives appreciate the business community's expectations related to the security dynamics of business environments.
The Group Chief Information Security Officer, Access Bank, Mrs Favour Femi-Oyewole, said the business of security should not be an afterthought but must be embedded from the onset of planning the business. She added that the present times' reality has necessitated that every company that desired to survive in the digital business environment must incorporate managing cybersecurity risks into their operating model.
The Head, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Professor Daniel Gberevbie, said for any organization to achieve safety and security that required improved productivity, it was essential to engage the organizational workforce in training and career development. He said the exercise would enable the organization to meet contingency planning and emergency response demands to an unpleasant situation.
Professor Gberevbie believed in a relationship between contingency planning, emergency response, and safety and security management in an organization for improved productivity. He added that an organization must undertake a thorough assessment of the safety and security situation to achieve a proper emergency response to an unpleasant occurrence.
In his opening remarks, the Chair, CEPDeR, Dr Obindah Gershon, said the security workshop became imperative, when consideration is given to different security challenges constraining business productivity, profitability and sustainability in Nigeria. He averred that most businesses across the nation had fallen victim to prevalent crime and insecurity amidst enormous private security service cost.
Dr Gershon noted that unfolding events during the ENDSARS protest had shown that the government's ease of doing business policy had not eased the burden of business insecurity in Nigeria. He said the discovery had necessitated the importance of a security workshop to look at how to address impediments to a conducive business climate in the country.
The event attracted traditional rulers, captains of business and industries, heads of private security outfits and government security agencies.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Muyideen Obe, delivering the Keynote remarks on behalf of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lagos, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu, at the security workshop organized by CEPDeR, Covenant University.