From ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
The Federal Government, on Monday, raised the alarm over the combined actions of terrorists, vandals and saboteurs aimed at crippling the economy through the continued attacks on critical national assets, urging security agencies to synergise in tackling the menace.
Speaking while declaring open the two-day stakeholders forum on the Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI) in Abuja yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, challenged security agencies to step up their strategies to beat the ever-improving sophistications of the operations of economic saboteurs.
“I’m delighted to be here to declare open this all important stakeholders forum on the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure. This meeting is not only important but also timely considering the security challenges facing our country and the need to protect our national assets. The organiser did well to bring relevant stakeholders to discuss the necessary measures to protect all our national assets.
“This development of national infrastructure remains the core element of our transformation agenda and to this end we have invested much in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, oil and gas protection, transportation and telecommunication, water supply, public mass transit system and financial services.
“All the substantial investments we have made in maintaining existing infrastructure and establishing new ones are under threat by the actions of the terrorists and saboteurs. These groups and individuals are mindlessly targeting our infrastructure for their selfish political and economic gains. Recently, they have been involved in sabotaging of oil pipelines, maritime robbery in our coastal waters, which has become a major threat to our economy,” he said.
He noted that, “the primary responsibility of protecting critical national assets rests on the shoulders of our security agencies. It is their task to secure our national facilities, minimise their vulnerability and make them inaccessible to terrorists, vandals and saboteurs. I’m happy to note that they have covered much grounds in checking these challenges in so short time. I commend their professionalism and commitment.”
“However, with the continued use of sophisticated advanced technologies by those criminals, our security agencies must continue to rebuild and evolve strategies to improve their response time and increase their combative capacity. There is need for better inter-agency co-oporation and collaboration among security agencies in terms of intelligence sharing,” he added.