The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday, in Abuja, said his regime had sufficiently degraded the Boko Haram insurgents, whose activities destabilised Nigeria’s North-East.
He added that his government was tackling oil theft head-on, especially with the interception of over 220 vessels involved in maritime criminality within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone, since 2018 to date.
Buhari also said the Nigerian Navy’s campaign against crude oil theft has led to the arrest of over 87 oil tankers, recovering 15 million litres of petrol and diesel and preserving over three million barrels of crude oil from theft.
According to a statement signed on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said this when he inaugurated the new Office of the National Security Adviser and National Counterterrorism Centre.
The statement was titled, ‘President Buhari inaugurates game-changing national counterterrorism centre, new ONSA building.’
On the threat of terrorism, which was labelled as a major security challenge facing the country when he assumed office in 2015, the President said, “I can confidently state here today that we have achieved significant milestones in degrading the major threat and restoring normalcy to most of the hitherto securitised areas in the North-East.
“These areas previously occupied by terrorists have been freed and Internally Displaced Persons are voluntarily returning to their homes.
“This was largely achieved through the valiant efforts of our Armed Forces and other security agencies, in collaboration with our regional and international partners; but above all, the support and cooperation of the Nigerian citizens.”
On maritime security, Buhari expressed delight that some key threats within Nigeria’s maritime environment, such as piracy, sea robbery, crude oil theft as well as illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, were being effectively tackled.
On cyber threats, the President said his government had established the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team and revised the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy in February 2021.
He promised to endorse the Presidential Order for the Designation and Protection of Critical National Information Infrastructure soon.
On the newly inaugurated facilities, the President described the secure and hi-tech offices as a demonstration of his administration’s firm commitment to ensure national security capabilities are kept abreast with the highest global standards.
Congratulating the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) and his team for the achievement, the President expressed confidence that the new facilities would in no small measure enhance the desired peaceful and secure environment for our country.
In his address of welcome, Monguno said the new office for the NCTC was designed to accommodate the additional workforce and improved technological capabilities of the centre, particularly the Exclusive Devices Analysis Office, increasing activities of countering violent extremism department and joint terrorism analysis branch.
In his goodwill message, the UN Resident Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, who was represented by the Peace and Advisor, Office of the Resident Coordinator (UN Nigeria), Kimaris Toogood commended Buhari and his government for championing the NCTC, saying “this is no doubt part of your legacy that will enable Nigeria continue to address domestic and regional security challenges.”