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Summit on protection of Nigeria’s critical assets postponed to February 28, 2022

By Okey Muogbo 

Organisers of the Summit on Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructure, Monuments and Business Assets from Terrorists and bandits attacks have announced the postponement of the summit, initially scheduled to hold  next, to 28th of February next year.

Announcing the shift in Abuja on Friday, Dr Chiakor Alfred, Secretary of the Planning Committee for the event said change was necessitated by the need to accommodate more stakeholders in the programme.The organisers of the summit are: The Presidential Think-Tank on Defence & Security and Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research, Abuja.

Dr Alfred who is also the Chief of Strategy, Ashcraft Centre for SocialScience Research said that in the course of their engagements with stakeholders, “we are amazed at the interests shown by all Stakeholders to the Summit. We also discovered unfortunately that several critical Stakeholders were not invited. Some lamented that the timing of the Summit was not convenient, considering that most of the corporate Organizations are winding down their operations for the year. 

“The MDAs complained of defending their budgets at the National Assembly and would like to be given opportunity to participate. Even the lawmakers complained of the uncompromising schedules at this time.”

“Having aggregated these concerns, we saw the compelling need to postpone the Summit to a more convenient date. This will also give us the leverage to reach out to the other Stakeholders who were not invited, but whose participation and inputs are of utmost importance in enriching the proceedings and priorities of the Summit.

“Consequently, I wish to confirm to you that the National Summit is officially postponed. It will now hold on Monday, 28th February and Tuesday, 1st March, 2022 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

“We are confident that with your support as patriotic professionals and information gatekeepers, you will help disseminate the content of this press conference to a wide domestic and global audiences, through your various media channels, so as to create the necessary public awareness about the postponement of this National Summit”, he stated.

Dr Alfred recalled that the planned summit “is a high priority project that aims to engender Stakeholder synergy for real-time management solutions and systemized rapid response strategy; harness expert/operational knowledge and country wide technical support to enhance threat mitigation and desired security outcomes; and explore further capabilities in the fight against banditry, kidnapping and other emergency recoveries. 

“This is in alignment with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security establishments, business owners as well as to all residents of Nigeria to work in concert to “reducing the vulnerability of the Nation’s Critical National Infrastructure to threats and hazards, on the one hand, and improving the resilience of such critical national infrastructure by strengthening their ability to withstand and recover from disruption.” Of course, this will involve a number of measures ranging from:

a.​Physical protection to prevent damage or disruption;

b.​Building a level of reliability into them so that they can continue to operate even after an attack;

c.​Ensuring that there are back-up systems; to

d.​Putting in place organisations that can rapidly respond effectively to threat events to enable such infrastructure recover quickly from disruption.

“​Gentlemen of the Press, for emphasis, the Summit is all about building multi-Stakeholder confidence, synergy and capabilities with the view to engender investor confidence; encourage cross fertilization of ideas; stimulate Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s productive Sectors as canvassed by Mr President at different international fora; and also boost capital growth and turnkey business development.”

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