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Ekhomu tasks varsities on language skills for intelligence operations


A Security Consultant, Dr. Ona Ekhomu

The president of Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has advised Nigerian universities to strengthen their capabilities to train manpower in European languages to enhance the country’s intelligence gathering and analysis.

This, he said, should be part of their contribution to building a robust security/intelligence architecture in the country.

Ekhomu, in a paper, titled, ‘Road Map to Peace in Africa- Languages and Related Research Efforts: Case of the Gulf of Guinea,’ he delivered at an international conference on peace in Africa-languages and research efforts, organised by the Department of European Languages and Integration Studies of the University of Lagos, Ekhomu identified the four European languages spoken in the Gulf of Guinea littoral countries as English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

He said that the low level of penetration of other European languages in Nigeria was hampering intelligence operations, which are central to resolving major security challenges in the Gulf.

He listed security challenges in the Gulf as piracy, oil theft, illegal oil bunkering, illegal fishing, over-fishing, militancy, including attacks on offshore oil assets, such as platforms and pipelines, and sea robbery.

The security expert said the Nigeria and Benin territorial waters have been designated as high-risk areas, noting that the cost of piracy in the Gulf has been estimated at $2billion annually, adding: “Unfortunately, pirates are now able to attack deep off-shore at ranges of 130 nautical miles (nm).”

Ekhomu commended the Nigerian Navy for effectively combating piracy in Nigeria territorial waters, warning that the problem remains in the Gulf due to limited capacity on its counterpart within the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

He advised Nigeria’s intelligence agencies to recruit fresh graduates of European languages from Nigerian universities to strengthen the country’s intelligence operations in the Gulf of and other conflict zones, stating that bilingual and multilingual security operatives are highly sought after by the intelligence agencies of advanced countries because good languages skills enable agents to gain clear understand of the issues they are tasked to work on.

Ekhomu urged Nigerians to be literate in French language as a matter of national security and survival, more so as the country is surrounded by French-speaking countries.

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ECCASOna Ekhomu
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