Security Agencies and experts called for adoption of a data-driven approach to tackle security and developmental challenges in the country.
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Sylvester Alabi, and other security experts made the call while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 10th edition of Securex West Africa conference held in Lagos by Afrocet Montgomery.
Also present at the event were the Regional Director, Afrocet Montgomery, Mr. George Pearson, Chairman, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru, security and tech experts of Beacon consulting, SBM Intelligence with over 75 speakers and 100 brands of exhibitors.
Speaking at the conference on “Protecting Critical National Infrastructure: Tackling Maritime Crime; Protecting Nigeira’s Ports,” Gambo stated that despite the Nigerian Navy’s efforts to reduce maritime crimes, new challenges continue to emerge due to the nature of the crimes and lack of data-driven operations, and that some criminals who have been prosecuted for Maritime crimes have resumed their criminal activities in other countries after serving their jail terms.
He said: “The intensity of transnational nature of maritime crimes within the region requires a more record and data capturing identity for perpetrators. Sadly lack of adequate data based on identified criminals have allowed perpetrators to relocate from one country to the other without being identified.
“Some persons who have been prosecuted for maritime crimes on completion of their jail terms have resumed their criminal activities in other countries unnoticed.
“This gap within the west Africa sub region needs to be given more attention. Clearly with improved database and information sharing of persons prosecuted for maritime crimes it would be easier to track and apprehend such criminals should they continue to live a life of crimes.”
He added that although there is massive decline in piracy activities in the Gulf of Guinea with 11 pirates incident recorded in 2021 compared to 44 in the year 2020, inadequacy and limited presence of naval assets at sea have continued to stall navy operations.
Gambo said: “The fact remains that the ships are not enough to maintain the continuous presence required to dominate maritime space. This inadequacy has resulted in information gaps making it difficult to acquire a holistic picture of the environment.”
Meanwhile, Abiodun Sylvester Alabi, has called for more deployment of security based technological tools in combating kidnappings and crimes in the country.
Abiodun noted that securing the public space in Nigeria is becoming problematic, more complex and tasking due to ever changing mode of technology based crimes, sophistication, and unprecedented criminal activities in Nigeria, encouraging men of the force to utilize the means for securing life and property.
He was represented at the event by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Victoria Island Division, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Taiwo Oyewole.