Hon. Kingsley Kuku
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to evolve a critical infrastructure protection policy as part of the overall measures to enhance security as well as set the rules and standards, especially for quality and location of vital infrastructure in the country.
The call came just as the Special Adviser on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, affirmed that the declaration of amnesty had culminated in a drastic reduction of wilful destruction of critical infrastructure, particularly, oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
Kuku, who spoke in Abuja, at a two-day strategic policy workshop on “Critical Infrastructure Protection in Nigeria” sponsored by the Amnesty Office, said the forum was aimed at proactively sensitising critical stakeholders on ways and means of protecting critical infrastructure that dot the nooks and crannies of the country.
“These are infrastructure that oil the wheel of our economic and social growth. These are infrastructure that connect and bind us together as one and indivisible country. These are infrastructure that stimulate growth and help Nigeria rank among the key global players. These are infrastructure we truly have invested billions of Naira or even dollars to put in place. I am talking about our bridges, pipelines, power stations, refineries, strategic offices, shopping malls and complexes, seaports and indeed the cyber space,” Kuku said in a paper presented on his behalf by an aide, Mr. Henry Ugbolue.
In his “Overview of Critical Infrastructure Protection in Nigeria: Threats and Remedies”, Dr. Femi Olufunmilade of the Advanced Learning Network Limited, who reviewed acts of terrorism in parts of the country, noted that that Nigeria had not performed badly in the area of critical infrastructure protection.
He, however, stated that the country was in urgent need of a critical infrastructure protection policy in order not to allow the impact of terrorism fester.
“Things will get really bad if the terrorists waging war on the country decide to change their strategy by reserving their resources for targets that will inflict maximum injuries on the Nigerian state and people in the form of critical infrastructure,” he said.
He also canvassed that a vulnerability survey be commissioned to ascertain the level vulnerability of critical infrastructure across the country as well as recommend measures to fill the void of observed vulnerabilities.
Also in his presentation titled: “Building Resilience into Critical Infrastructure in the Power Sector”, the Technical Director/CEO, UNIDO Regional Centre for Small Hydro Power in Africa, Dr. Ayodele Esan, said most countries of the world were de-emphasising a convergence to national grid in their power infrastructure, and urged Nigeria to follow suit.
He noted that one of the disincentives to terrorism was to move away from big hydro power plants to smaller ones scattered across the country.