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Ashcraft Centre Takes Critical Infrastructure Protection Summit to South-South

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Ashcraft Centre Takes Critical Infrastructure Protection Summit to South-South

 

With rising concern on assets and infrastructure vandalization in Nigeria, Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research is planning to organize a summit to address the challenge to save the country from avoidable losses to vandalism.

The forthcoming summit centres on the theme: “Domesticating Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities in Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructures and Assets.”

It is slated to hold at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential, Aba Road – Port Harcourt, on 25th and 26th July, 2022.

During the pre-event press conference held recently, Chiakor Alfred, Head of the Centre, said the summit is a follow up to the successful convention held in Abuja in March, stressing that the imperative to domesticate the proceedings at the Zonal levels and Host Communities forms the basis of forthcoming summit.

He noted that the last two decades have demonstrated clearly that the nature of threats to Nigeria’s security have changed significantly.

He highlighted that structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalisation, 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.

As a result of this, he said, Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from classic military conflict between states, adding that 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 rampancy and intensity of the vandalisation and destruction of Nigeria’s infrastructures and assets prompted the call to arms by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security Establishment and all Nigerians to see it as a patriotic duty to ensure maximum vigilance and shared responsibility in the protection and security of these Assets and platforms at all points in their life-cycle.

“The South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit is therefore a Private/Public Sector Partnership that aims at galvanizing responsibility and synergy for the prioritization of the Multi Agency/ Joint Risk Management Efforts to ensure the security and resilience of Nigeria’s critical national assets, in line with the Risk Management Framework of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022), and also, the Critical National Infrastructure Bill under consideration at the National Assembly.

“These projections of the Summit are therefore, consistent with the provisions of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022); Petroleum Industry Act, 2021; the National Security Strategy Framework; and the Critical National Infrastructure Bill, 2021 currently under consideration at the National Assembly,” Alfred said.

The Ashcraft boss noted that the South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit aims to intensify advocacy for Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities.

The summit 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, he noted.

To achieve the projected outcome and also sustain confidence building, diverse Stakeholders are mobilized to discuss the challenges impacting the integrity, operations and security of these critical infrastructures and Assets and also seek possible solutions and suggestions.

According to the Centre, the stakeholders being mobilized to the summit include Nigeria’s National and State Legislatures; the Armed Forces, Security and Intelligence Agencies; Statutory Regulators in the diverse Sectors of Nigeria’s productive economy; Investors/Business Owners; Operators of the Infrastructures and Assets; Professional and Civil Society Organizations; the Traditional Institution, Socio Cultural and Pressure Groups, among others.

The Centre believes that by building multi sectoral synergy, the summit would be able to engender stakeholders and citizens with shared responsibilities towards achieving the institutionalization of the road map and priorities of the policy frameworks crafted to provide deterrence, security and resilience of Nigeria’s assets.

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.

Alfred further said: “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 time also to live the slogan that says “if you see something, say something. If you hear something, do something.”

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