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Govt assets, properties must be protected– Stakeholders

By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Osun State Command, has solicited the cooperation of the general public in protecting government assets and properties.

To this end members of the public have been called upon to always cultivate the habit of giving useful information that would help the agency to succeed in its determination to protect critical national assets of the government.

This formed the deliberations at the one-day summit organised by NSCDC with the theme: “Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure As A Panacea For Underdevelopment”.

The stakeholders summit which was held in Osogbo, attracted officers and men of NSCDC and many other stakeholders drawn from public and private institutions and organisations.

The Zonal Commander in charge of Zone J, Assistant Commandant General, Engr Quadri Saladin represented by Commandant Ajibola Liadi, said the summit was apt, as the government at all levels and private sectors across the country are investing massively in the development and construction of infrastructure.

He said stakeholders must collaborate with NSCDC for sustainability of these assets.

Earlier, the Commandant of NSCDC, Osun state command, Michael Adaralewa said the event could not have come at a better time due to the threats to national assets and infrastructure by economic saboteurs.

Adaralewa further stated that, the stakeholders summit was in line with the vision of NSCDC Commandant General Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi mni, OFR, saying his administration is totally committed to rooting out every threat to the corporate existence of the country.

“There must be a deliberate attempt to build capacity for sustainability of critical infrastructure through genuine partnership between NSCDC and stakeholders, as the Corps is statutorily mandated to secure critical national assets nationwide.

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The Corps, therefore, solicits a robust collaboration from all stakeholders for us to apprehend these economic saboteurs,’’ Osun NSCDC boss said.

Also speaking, the Head of Department, Critical National Assets and Infrastructure(CNAI) in Osun state, Deputy Commandant of Corps, Vincent Linus said lack of collaboration, lack of awareness among stakeholders, inadequate intelligence sharing, ignorance and poverty are factors hampering proper implementation of protection of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.

Delivering the lecture titled ‘’Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure as a Panacea for underdevelopment’’ the Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Prof Olayinka Ramota Karim who was represented by Prof.Goke Lalude stated that critical national assets are services and systems necessary for a country to function upon which daily life depends.

She explained that everyone have a role to play in securing the assets, hence all hands must be on deck in protecting both public and private infrastructure as its effectiveness would have a meaningful impact on political, economic and social life of a nation

In his presentation, Professor Joseph Bamidele Oyedele of Estate Management Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State revealed that the establishment of NSCDC by the Federal Government is one of the measures to protect critical infrastructure and this is supported by NSCDC Act 2003 as amended in 2007.

‘’Any disruption to these assets can have serious consequences for citizens. Hence, protecting these facilities is important economically as interruptions could result in substantial financial losses and interference with the supply chain and business operations’’ Professor Oyedele said

The keynotes addresses were also delivered by Vice Chancellor of Adeleke University, Ede. Osun State, Prof. Solomon Ajayi Adebola represented by Assistant Commandant General(rtd) Kingsley Oguntuase, and the General Manager of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Osogbo, Osun State, Engr Adesina.

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The summit was well attended by critical stakeholders, which included the security agencies, senior government officials. business executives, infrastructure owners and managers, among others.

Some of the participants who spoke to with our correspondent said all hands must be on deck, and that every Nigerian must be properly educated about security issues for them to play their individual role in protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.

They commended the organizers of the summit, saying it is necessary for government assets and properties to be protected.

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