Sub-regional collaboration will boost security challenges, Osinbajo declares

• Nigeria, ECOWAS sign MoU on early warning centre
• VP woos investors over nation’s economy

With the security threats confronting Nigeria and the rest of West Africa becoming more violent, asymmetric, cross-border by nature, and spreading faster than before, the need for an effective sub-regional collaboration on early warning systems has become a necessity, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Osinbajo stated this, yesterday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the implementation of an early warning mechanism and for the establishment of a national response centre in the country.

Specifically, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government adopted the strategic framework for the establishment of national early warning and response mechanisms at the 45th ordinary session, which held in Accra, Ghana, in July 2014.

According to the framework, the establishment of the early warning system is to provide real-time information on events or other incidents likely to affect social peace and security in the West African region. It also seeks to provide information on the occurrence of social and political events and climate change.

A major objective of a national coordination centre for the early warning mechanism is to strengthen the ECOWAS strategy for information sharing among member states to avert or reduce threats.

In his remarks, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said the signing of the MoU reiterates Nigeria’s commitment to promoting peace and security in West Africa.

He recalled that the regional early warning mechanism was set up by the ECOWAS 1999 protocol relating to the mechanism for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping and security, and to support the region in anticipating, mitigating and responding to challenges of human security.

The Federal Government, meanwhile, said it is poised for the right type of investors in its privatisation and commercialisation efforts, “looking out for the right models and funding, among others, over an extended period of time.”

Osinbajo, who made the declaration, also said the government is committed to infrastructure and national economic development.

He spoke at a one-day investors’ webinar organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in collaboration with the Nigerian Exchange Group and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), with the theme: Showcasing Investment Opportunities in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Privatisation and Economic Reform Programme.

He urged the local and international investment community to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the Nigerian economy. Some of these areas, he said, include the country’s tax credit initiatives to promote infrastructural development, as well as the ongoing reforms in the telecommunications, port, and power sectors.

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