National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has called for the adoption of a comprehensive and integrated approach towards addressing the root causes of insecurity in the country, by promoting inclusive economic growth and empowering marginalised communities.
He made the call in his opening address at a second UK-Nigeria Security Defence Partnership Dialogue in Abuja convened by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Ribadu said the event marked another significant milestone in the enduring partnership between the two nations, united in their unwavering commitment to regional, continental and global security, stability, and peace.
The NSA said the longstanding ties between the United Kingdom and Nigeria are grounded in shared values, mutual respect, and a common aspiration for a safer and more prosperous world.
Ribadu advocated a holistic and forward-looking approach that leverages the full spectrum of their respective capabilities and expertise in addressing the myriads of security challenges confronting Nigeria.
He said, “Our dialogue must be guided by a shared commitment to promoting regional stability, countering violent extremism, and enhancing resilience against emerging non-traditional security challenges confronting our nations is both diverse and formidable.
He said, “It is imperative that we adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach that addresses the root causes of insecurity, promotes inclusive economic growth, and empowers marginalised communities to build societies resilient to exploitation and radicalization.”
The NSA emphasised the importance of nurturing the next generation of security and defence leaders through enhanced collaboration in education, training, and professional development initiatives.
“As we confront the complex challenges of the 21st Century particularly with the advent of artificial intelligence and robotics, investing in human capital and cultivating a culture of innovation and excellence are paramount to ensuring the long-term resilience and effectiveness of our security institutions,” he said.
The UK national security adviser, Tim Barrow, represented by his deputy, Dame Sarah Macintosh, said the UK operates in a relationship of mutual respect and supportiveness and shares a determination to make its contributions separately and together to a better world and to peace, security, stability and prosperity at all.
He said the two countries can through this security and defence partnership and dialogue advance those shared objectives and deepen partnership and friendship to build on their national security.
“UK is fully committed to our friendship and partnership with Nigeria and we thank you for your commitment to that partnership there too and I’m personally delighted to be part of strengthening and deepening it through this dialogue.
“As security challenges around the world grow, it has become increasingly crucial to support our allies to uphold regional and international peace.
“This week we reaffirmed our commitment to Nigeria, building on progress made since the last UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership dialogue, from tackling -terrorism and countering violent extremism to defending against cyber-attacks.”
The first edition was held in London from January 31 to February 2, 2022.