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Implementing the 2019 National Security Strategy

16th Dec, 2019 | By David Dogo | ||

On Wednesday 5th December, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari launched the 2019 National Security Strategy (NSS), which is a review of the 2014 National Security Strategy. The launch is coming at a time Nigeria is confronted by hydra-headed security challenges manifested in the form of terrorism, banditry, herders/farmers conflicts, communal conflicts, militancy, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other criminalities.

There is hardly any part of the country that is not affected. The launch is therefore timely, salutary and a commendable step in the right direction by the Buhari administration. Since inception in 2015, President Buhari had made the fight against insecurity one of the cardinal programmes of his administration. He thus alluded to the fact that the strategy represents a thoughtful, strategic and practical expression of his administration's resolve to make Nigeria safe for development, investment, growth and prosperity for everyone.

Let me not assume that everyone has a good understanding of what a National Security Strategy or Policy is all about. A National Security Strategy is a key framework for a country to meet the basic needs and security concerns of its citizens as well as address internal and external threats to the country. In addition, a National Security Strategy not only focuses on the effectiveness of security agencies, it also incorporates a number of critical issues that are germane to its relevance, public legitimacy and ownership, and sustainability.

Some of the key issues that can be included in the strategy are human security, oversight and accountability, human rights, justice, monitoring, coordination and gender among others. For instance, the 2011-2016 Philippines National Security Policy (NSP) emphasized that "the welfare and well-being of the people are of primordial consideration" while the 2017-2022 NSP affirmed that "the general public must be secured and protected from any harm that could endanger their lives, properties, ways of life". The Liberia 2008 National Security Strategy clearly stated that the new security architecture will be "constructed on the basis of promoting state, human and societal security"

Although I have not been able to read through the 2019 National Security Strategy 60-page document, insights into the emphasis and direction of the strategy can be deduced from the speech of the President during the launch. On that occasion, President Buhari made a commitment to enhancing the social security of Nigerians as a means of improving their physical security.

This is in line with Section 14 sub-section 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution which affirms that "the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government" The President noted that the numerous security challenges confronting the nation made it necessary to come up with articulated, comprehensive and coordinated response that involved all segments of the society. He further noted that "In addition to security, economic diversification and fighting corruption, our administration's priorities for the second term include pursuing improvements in education, healthcare and agriculture".

This is clearly reflected in the articulation of the strategy as revealed by the President when he again said that, "I am happy to observe that the National Security Strategy reflects this thinking with emphasis on human security". The emphasis on human security is very important because it involves predicating the understanding of security on the needs of the citizens and not only on those of government or state. It is clear that the revised National Security Strategy is characterised by features that will make it highly implementable and successful.

First, it is the product of painstaking and rigorous deliberations and consultations involving security, intelligence, law enforcement agencies, the armed forces, MDAs and the civil society. This is a marked departure from what happens in the past when a few people sit in a closet to articulate national policies.

Second, is the fact that the strategy is a bottom to top approach making it all inclusive and requiring active participation at every level of implementation in the security architecture.

Third, is the fact that the strategy also outlines in details how to enhance the capacity of the military and other security agencies, and how they need to collaborate with each other for efficiency and effectiveness. It is our hope that this will bring to end the unhealthy competition and rivalry that we have seen in the past between security agencies with all the concomitant negativities.

Fourth, is the fact that the strategy is designed to mitigate adverse national security indicators that will ensure the delivery of positive governance outcomes for all the people. This is an indication of the shift from being reactionary to security breaches to being proactive in dealing with warning signs even before any crisis occurs or escalates.

So far, from conversations in the media and other public spaces, there is a consensus that the 2019 National Security Strategy has been well articulated and is a great improvement to that of 2014. The big question again is about how it can be successfully implemented. The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, who was commended by the President Buhari, gave assurance on the implementation of the security strategy.

According to him, "The task that lies before us is the execution of the strategy and the achievement of safer and more secured nation. It is a task to which this administration remains fully and unreservedly committed". This is quite cheering and so we expect that this level of commitment will permeate the entire security architecture.

Effective coordination, monitoring and accountability are critical success factors. Resources that will be committed to implementing the strategy must be used in a transparent and accountable manner. The success of the 2019 National Security Strategy will largely be determined by our collective will and determination as a people who are desirous of a peaceful and secured nation. This simply translates to collective responsibility. I therefore urge that we all play our respective parts. God bless Nigeria.

News Update

The Minister said this during the presentation of FCT 2020 statutory budget to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the FCT.

To ensure strict compliance with the Abuja Master Plan and permanently tackle traffic situation within Gwarinpa the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it would remove no fewer than 850 makeshift shops/houses (popularly called 'batchers') and shanties along the N16 road.

Speaking to journalists last week during commencement of sitting of a mobile court at the head office of Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), popularly called Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), in Mabushi, Abuja, authorities of the organization defended the establishment of the court saying it was set up by FCTA to decide the fate of traffic offenders.

Ahead of the planned revocation of plots of land situated in serviced areas of Federal Capital City (FCC), the FCT Administration (FCTA) has inaugurated a task team to holistically verify all identified undeveloped plots of land where infrastructure has already been provided.

Malam Bello made the pledge when he received a delegation of the FCT Sharia Court of Appeal led by the Grand Khadi, Justice Ibrahim Rufa'i Imam who was on a courtesy visit to FCTA.

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made the clarion call and promised to reward such corps members who distinguish themselves during the one-year mandatory service..


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