The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), has facilitated a security stakeholders’ round-table in Abia.
The one-day capacity building workshop, which held in Umuahia, brought together different security agencies to brainstorm on the security challenges in the state, with a view to proffering solutions to them.
In a brief remark, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that the agency decided to collaborate with Abia SEMA because security had become a major concern in the country.
Jamoh represented by Mr Obinna Obi, an Assistant Director in the Agency, called on the security agencies to collaborate in order to perform effectively.
He added that insecurity in the maritime domain begins from the land where the planning, indoctrination and recruitment often takes place.
He, therefore, urged the security agencies to synergise with local communities for enhanced intelligence sharing and proactive policing.
The stakeholders, in a communique issued at the end of the workshop recommended that all the security agencies in the state should be made members of the State Government’s Security Council.
The communique stated that the measure had become necessary for intelligence gathering, sharing and attainment of the overall security status of the state.
The stakeholders identified the lack of inclusiveness in the security council as hampering the fight against insecurity in the state.
They urged the security agencies in the state to see security as a communal corporate responsibility and the need for synergy among themselves in order to achieve a holistic security report.
They urged the government, groups and well-meaning individuals to support security personnel “with sufficient welfare packages as a motivation for optimal service delivery”.
They also called for the deployment of more surveillance teams for effective patrol of the 17 local government areas of the state.
The stakeholders further recommended that security teams be posted to all the flash points in the state.
They further requested that immigration personnel be posted to all the entry and exit points in the state to check the influx of illegal immigrants.
They recommended the recruitment of more manpower, including local vigilantes and other security personnel.
“Communication gap between the security agencies and the communities in the state should be bridged.
“A security agencies’ WhatsApp platform should be created for efficient handling of security matters in the state.
“There should be regular training and re-training of security personnel,” the stakeholders further recommended.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Dr Sunday Jackson, said that the workshop was organised because of the recent security challenges in the state.
Jackson, who commended NIMASA for the collaboration, said that Abia, which has borders with seven states, is prone to disaster and other forms of insecurity.
He also said that the objective of the workshop was to X-ray the challenges arising from insecurity in the state and proffering solutions to them.
“It is a coordination meeting aimed at making the security agencies to know their roles,” Jackson said.
The maiden interactive workshop was attended by representatives of different security agencies in the state along with some government functionaries.