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CNAINPPS: Why We Are Organising The South-South Zonal Stakeholders Summit-Dr. Chiakor

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By Josephine Akaaer, Senior Special Correspondent

The South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit  with the theme: Domesticating Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities  In Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructures And  Assets, will hold at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel  Presidential, Aba Road – Port Harcourt, south south Nigeria from  25th through 26th July, 2022.  Ahead of this summit, and in demonstration of its animation towards the achievements of a successful outing, an international  press conference, under the auspices of the Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research, held recently At Aldgate Congress Resort, Plot 308 Abacha Road, GRA Phase 3, Port  Harcourt.

According to the Chief of Strategic Planning and Innovations  at Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research and Head of Secretariat, Coordinating  Committee of the Conference, Dr. Chiakor Alfred,the South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit is 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.

“This Summit is a follow up to the successful convention held at  the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Monday 28  February and Tuesday, 1 March, 2022. The imperative to domesticate  the proceedings at the Zonal levels and Host Communities forms the  basis of this Summit,” stated Dr. Chiakor .

Chiakor provides the background for the summit: “The last two decades have demonstrated clearly that the nature of threats to Nigeria’s security have changed significantly. 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.

Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different  characteristics from classic military conflict between states. 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….”

“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.

“The South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit aims to intensify  advocacy for Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities. It 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.

“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. The Stakeholders being mobilized to the Summit include but are not limited to: 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, etc.

“By building inter/multi sectoral synergy, the Summit shall 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.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, 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”

It is incumbent on us all therefore to engage robustly on how to deter and mitigate these challenges in a systematic and coordinated  manner. This way, we can be sure of preserving our collective  heritage and sanctity of our God endowed resources, both human,  technical and material.”

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