How to end pipeline vandalism in Niger Delta, by expert
As SECUREX conference ends tomorrow
Former United States of America (USA) Air Force veteran, Tanwa Ashiru yesterday said the country must address the burden and the plight of the Niger Delta people to effectively tackle the challenges of securing the oil and gas industry.
He made the submission at this year’s edition of SECUREX West Africa conference, the biggest security event in Nigeria.
Ashiru who is also the Chief Executive of Bulwark Intelligence told participants at the conference that all efforts in helping the people of the Niger Delta must be grassroots based and not through the traditional rulers or political leaders.
“It must start at and benefit the people at the bottom. Most Nigerians do not trust the government to be honest and adequately compensate them for resources found on their property. This lack of trust has a lot to do with illegal bunkering. Socio-economic development across various institutions and facets of society: Infrastructure, trade, schools and health care, among others,” he stated.
Ashiru added that the Niger Delta people was in dire need of honest leaders but regretted that the people do not hold their leader’s accountable because they don’t know any better.
“Once they start seeing real development in a few communities others will demand the same for their towns. If people perceive social infrastructure as beneficial to them, those living in the vicinity of that infrastructure will be more likely to protect them.
“Today in the Niger Delta, the people do not feel that the oil and gas infrastructure in the area are benefitting them at all. It is for this reason that they have no will to ensure its protection… unless of course, they are benefitting from protecting it.”
Managing Director of Zoom Lens Security, Mr. Dennis Amachree who also presented a paper at the event, told The Guardian that SECUREX West Africa has changed the security narrative in Nigeria.
According to him, “The organizers of SECUREX have done something that has been lacking in the country because we have had international security seminars and exhibitions in other countries, where a lot of exhibitors and manufacturers of security equipment exhibit all kinds of technologies.
“Securex has been able to do a smaller version in Nigeria and we expect this to continue because we have a lot of people who are into the business that are vendors who vend the security material such as Drones, CCTV cameras and other tools that people can actually use and have the best ideas on how to deploy them in their companies or homes.
“And then the educational sectors are very good. I delivered a lecture on counter terrorism, I look forward to more of this and more involvement to Nigerians on this particular kind of security shows.”
Amachree urged the Lagos State government to take the fight against kidnapping more seriously, adding that bank robberies cannot be a challenge in Lagos, although they should take kidnapping more seriously because Lagos is the fastest growing metropolis in the world right now.
“We cannot make kidnapping part of our daily worries because that is something that has to be eliminated totally and that means the government has to put in more effort into curbing it,” he said.
Marketing Manager of Afrocet Montgomery, organizers of SECUREX, Jamie Pearson noted that the event has succeeded in bringing security operators in Nigeria together.
“SECUREX has made great impact to West Africa and Nigeria. It has succeeded in bringing together many security professionals under one roof. As much as it is learning about what new technologies there are out there, it is about West Africa coming together and discussing what affects them and how they can come out of the challenges.
“It is also about learning from the experts and understanding what other opportunities there are for those working in West Africa to bring new technologies and services to their organization. Our participants come from fourteen different countries and our visitors come from at about ten different West African countries,” he added.