Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd) has said that the changing nature of the security landscape over the last three decades in the country and across the world necessitated the broadening of the mandate of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to accommodate the needs of emerging security threats.
Monguno spoke at the commissioning of the new Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) building complex in Abuja.
The NSA said while ONSA’s core mandate is to assess the security concerns of the country and advise the president on all matters bordering on national security, the dynamic nature of global and domestic security environments has necessitated the modification and expansion of some of the functions of ONSA.
“The Office, through the activities of key interagency intelligence-sharing platforms such as the intelligence community committee, joint intelligence board, general security appraisal committee and the cybercrime advisory council, assesses the security concerns of the country and advises the president on all matters bordering on national security”, he said.
However, the series of amendments incorporated in the Terrorism Prevention Act in 2011, 2013 and 2022 have broadened the counterterrorism responsibilities of ONSA,” he said.
A statement issued by the office of NSA and signed by Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security, Zakari Usman, said Monguno identified the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons to meet the regional and global requirements as well as Nigeria’s commitments to the control of small arms and light weapons, the cybersecurity coordination centre, the NCTC to coordinate Nigeria’s counter-terrorism efforts and the upgrade of the Intelligence Fusion Centre (IFC) as some of the developments that generated the need for larger, more secure and better-equipped facilities to centrally house all key departments in order to optimally discharge the functions of ONSA.
“The new office for the National Counterterrorism Centre is designed to accommodate the additional workforce and improved technological capabilities of the Centre, particularly the Explosive Devices Analysis Office (EDAO), increasing activities of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) department and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Branch,” Monguno said.
The new ONSA and NCTC building complex boasts of office spaces, a world-class hall, conference rooms, team rooms, laboratories, an auditorium, and an operations/crises centre.
Monguno said the facilities would further enhance Nigeria’s already recognised contribution to global counterterrorism policy and practice efforts and give impetus to Nigeria’s internal, bilateral, and multilateral cooperation and collaboration in tackling the menace of terrorism and violent extremism.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s investment strategy in legacy infrastructure projects, saying the conceptualisation, design and development of the new ONSA and NCTC buildings were based on Buhari’s vision of ensuring a robust national security enterprise for the country.
The NSA also acknowledged the support of the National Assembly.
The new ONSA and NCTC buildings were commissioned by President Buhari, who said during the event that delivering on the new state-of-the-art facilities
demonstrates his administration’s firm commitment to ensuring that Nigeria’s national security capabilities are kept abreast with the highest global standards. “These two world-class facilities will no doubt optimize our efforts at addressing the dynamic contemporary security challenges in our environment, especially countering terrorism and violent extremism,” the president said.
While congratulating Monguno and his team for the noble achievement, Buhari expressed confidence that the commissioning of the new ONSA and NCTC buildings would enhance the desired peaceful and secure environment for the country. In attendance at the commissioning ceremony were service chiefs, heads of the security and intelligence community, ministers, legislators, and representatives of bilateral and multilateral partners from the UN, AU, ECOWAS and other foreign missions.