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Capacity building: NAF partner with California National Guard to enhance intelligence gathering skills



By Blessing wika, Abuja

The Nigerian Airforce has  partnered with  California National Guard to enhanced its intelligence gathering skills.

The Adjutant General of the California National Guard (CNG), United States of America (USA), Major General David Baldwin which expressed the readiness of his organization to assist the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the development of its Air-Ground Integration School while also building the capacity of its staff and instructors. General Baldwin, who disclosed this during his courtesy visit to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao at Headquarters NAF, Abuja, noted that this will go a long way towards improving intreating airborne and ground systems while also enhancing the lethality of NAF operations.

This was disclosed in a press statement signed by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet. Speaking further, General Baldwin also expressed the desire of his organization to support the NAF in improving its safety plans and strategies while also partnering with the NAF towards improving and enhancing its intelligence gathering skills. In the area of cyber warfare, General Baldwin noted the need for close monitoring of the cyberspace as it has, in recent time, become the new battle ground employed by foes. He therefore called for the need to improve the capacity of NAF personnel in cyber warfare sequencing and cyber engagement programmes. On gender balancing, General Baldwin stated that the CNG encourages female personnel to head critical positions and called on the NAF to tow the same line. He went on to encourage the need for partnership between CNG and NAF Senior Non-Commissioned Officers particularly in capacity development especially in the areas of leadership and command.

He added that extending an invitation to the CAS to visit the CNG, General Baldwin expressed the willingness of his organization to receive NAF technicians and operators, at no cost, to be embedded within the CNG to share ideas as well as improve capacity.

The  Adjutant General, the CAS represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Air Vice Marshal Remigus Ekeh, thanked the Adjutant for the consistent support that Nigeria and the NAF have continued to enjoy from the United States Government and its Armed Forces. He stated that one of the outcomes of the support in recent times is the delivery of the 12 A-Super Tucano aircraft, as well as, capacity building of NAF pilots, engineers, and Air-Ground Integration (AGI) specialists. AVM Ekeh also noted that the visit was in furtherance of US-Nigeria military-to-military relations and the State of California Partnership Programme with Nigeria which has been in existence since 2006 and will no doubt strengthen NAF existing partnership. AVM Ekeh further disclosed that the partnership has resulted in over 100 military-to-military bilateral engagements which ranged from military intelligence, counter-improvised explosive device training, combat medic, military aviation as well as military law and disaster responsive/emergency management. He went on to further highlight areas of intended collaborations with the CNG to include provision of spares and technical support, training of NAF engineers and technicians in maintenance of NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft, as well as provision of firefighting equipment and training aids. Concluding, AVM Ekeh noted, with gratitude that the support from CNG remains critical to NAF operational efforts in the fight against all forms of criminality in Nigeria.

Major General Baldwin was accompanied by Command Chief, Chief Master Sergeant Lynn Williams, Commander’s Action Group, Lt Col Jorge Velez and Air Attaché of the US Embassy Abuja, Lt Col Rob Faith among others. Those present on the NAF side were the Branch Chiefs and selected Directors at NAF Headquarters.


Nigeria committed to ensure security, peace in West Africa – Akpabio



The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in West Africa.

Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance.

The roundtable was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Daniel Gbenga, Akpabio recommend synergy among countries in the sub-region to address insecurity.

“Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West Africa sub- region enjoys peace, security, shared prosperity in our developmental goals.

“In order to mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub region.

“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the security sector plays a pivotal role in ensuring peace, stability, and development within any nation.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.

“In this regard, the role of parliament is indispensable as it serves as a key institution for oversight, legislation, and budgetary control over the security sector.

“I urge all stakeholders present to consider practical strategies for enhancing parliamentary engagement in security sector governance.

“This may involve developing specialised training programs for parliamentarians on security related matters, establishing robust mechanisms for information sharing between security agencies and parliamentary committees.

“Also for fostering a culture of dialogue and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on security policy formulation,” he said.

The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that in recent times, West Africa faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime.

He said that the menace presented formidable threats to the collective peace and stability of the region.

According to him, security issues, including illicit trafficking and the movement of armed groups, further compound the complexities.

“We must confront these urgently; internal conflicts, driven by various factors, pose additional challenges that require our immediate attention.

“More recently, the series of military coups that have taken place in and around our region which remains a threat to peace, the rule of law and democratic stability within the region.

“As legislators, you stand at the forefront of crafting responses to these challenges.

“The laws and policies you shape must not only address the immediate threats but also lay the foundation for sustainable security sector governance and reform,” he said.

Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.

Peran said that there has been a spread of terrorism and violent extremism with terrorist groups becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Wave to try to understand better why the security situation is so complex and what can be done to improve it in a sustainable fashion said the Resident Rep of KAS, Ms Marija Peran.

According to her, security sector reforms and governance plays a vital role in stabilising the region.

She said they had also been recognised as an essential precondition not only for conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building but in general for good governance.

“Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create the peaceful and secure Africa,” she said.

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Senate threatens to step down NCoS budget over insufficient information



The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information

Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman,Senate Committee on Interior, Sen.Adams Oshiomole, said this said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you, it is either you don’t feed the inmates or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.

“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.

“You all know the price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said that the committee would not be in a haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

He requested for a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centers and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.

“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily,” he said.

Responding, the NCS Comptroller General, Alhaji Haliru Nababa, said the service had a total of 81,358 inmates nationwide, saying that 53,362 of the inmates were awaiting trial.

“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).

“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day we spend N800,” he said.

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Army Chief tasks NASS on funding



Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the current envelope budgeting system of the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army.

Lagbaja said this when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the envelope system had led to inadequate funding for the Nigerian Army, especially its anti terrorism operation and other operations across the country.
Lagbaja also called on the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, saying that the passage would enhance the operations of the Armed Forces, through improved funding.
The Chairman, of the Joint Committee, Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’ adua assured of transparency in the handling of the Nigerian Army 2024 budget.

He comended Lagbaja for taking responsibility for the bombing of Kaduna villagers and taking steps to investigate the matter.

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