Nigeria is currently facing one of its greatest security challenges ever since it attained political independence on October 1st 1960. From the bandits having a field day in some parts of the Northwest, to kidnappers in the South West, and herdsmen clashes in the Middle Belt and parts of the South East and South South, as well as the decade long Boko Haram insurgency, the nation has lost lives and property worth billions of naira.
An unsecured nation will not be the darling of investors no matter its economic potentials. Nigeria spends billions of naira on security annually provided for in the budget, yet not yielding expected results. Recently the Boko Haram insurgents have started using drones in monitoring Nigerian troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole Joint Task Force to know when to launch attacks on our combatant warriors.
Now that the future of warfare has gone hi-tech, Nigerian security agencies should invest in deepening its capabilities to defend the nation’s sovereignty internally and externally from threats against its existence in advanced technologies like Cybersecurity, Internet Of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Robotics, etc.
Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics into the Defense Headquarters operations will help the Military Operations Centres predict, identify security threats in real time, monitor piracy and bunkering activities within the Niger Delta, attack insurgents autonomously while Augmented Reality can be used in training cadets at the Nigerian Defence Academy and Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna on battlefield scenarios. Also, relaying 3D visuals of combatant situation reports and Internet Of Things technologies like smart wearables will capture real time data on all security officers on field mission including their health conditions in case of attacks suffered while the Nigerian Police, Customs and Immigration Services can leverage Blockchain technology to establish a secure non tamperable digital record of all criminal cases, track import and export of goods across Nigeria’s ports, airports and borders as well as store information of all expatriates and will eliminate passport fraud at their offices. Cyber security capabilities can help the EFCC, Police to be effective in the fight against cyber criminals while the Department Of State Services and armed forces will use their knowledge to neutralize domestic and foreign cyber threats to Nigeria’s existence
The National Security Adviser Major General Babagana Monguno(Rtd) should set up a Security Innovation Lab which will set up a programme to train Nigeria’s military and paramilitary units in skills such as Cyber Security, Internet Of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Augmented Reality which will enhance their operations for efficiency. Upon their training they should be allocated Research Funding to develop cutting edge technology solutions to the nation’s security challenges and the successful inventions will be developed to become market ready at the Security Innovation Lab incubator which will deploy them to the various units and agencies and commercialized by creating security tech startups that will build solutions for local and global challenges.
The office of the National Security Adviser can learn from the US Central Intelligence Agency which funds security tech startups in order to protect America’s national security interest such as Palantir which is now a multi billion dollar company.