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Former VC identifies vital tools in tackling insecurity



UNILAG VC calls for effective measures to address Nigeria electoral challenges

Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, immediate past Vice Chancellor University of Lagos (UNILAG), says innovation and research are important tools needed in addressing the current internal security challenges in the country.

Ogundipe stated this in his keynote address at the annual Education Writers Association of Nigeria (EWAN) Lecture on Tuesday, in Lagos.

The theme of this year’s summit is: Research for National Development; Nigeria’s Internal Security in Focus.

According to him, these two components help in creating strategies, technologies and policies that are effective in addressing changing security issues.

The professor of Botany said that research offered the supporting data needed to develop security policies that worked and assessed the effectiveness of current defences.

He added that policy analysis and implementation, as well as innovation could improve security strategies’ responsiveness and adaptability to changing internal security challenges.

“Research aids in the analysis of new threats, comprehension of criminal and extremist groups’ strategies and acquisition of intelligence to remain ahead of possible security threats.

“Advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics can improve security agencies’ capacity to process and interpret large volumes of data.

“Monitoring and safeguarding vital infrastructure and public areas is made easier by advancements in surveillance technology, such as the use of drones, CCTV and biometric identification.

“The best ethical and practical approaches to use these technologies while upholding individuals’ right to privacy are identified through research,” the keynote speaker said.

According to him, the nation is currently dealing with new privacy and security challenges, such as cybercrime, online fraud, and hacking incidents, among others.

Ogundipe added that these challenges were causing the citizens grave consequences which include tension, displacements and fatalities.

He stated that internal security served as the cornerstone for a country’s social, economic and political advancement and, therefore, was crucial for development.

“The topic of the day is a touchy one. This is so because Nigeria is currently facing serious internal security issues in different regions.

“This may have changed throughout the nation’s history for a variety of political, economic and social reasons.

“The nation’s residents suffer grave consequences as a result of the crisis this causes, including tension, displacement, and fatalities.”

Ogundipe listed disruption of economic activities such as transport, trade, and agriculture as being hampered by insecurity.

He further said that lack of access to lands by farmers in conflict-prone areas resulted in food shortage and inflation, among other challenges caused by internal security.

He said that attracting investments and fostering economic growth require a secure internal environment.

“In a stable and secure nation, investors, domestic and foreign, are more likely to participate in economic activities.

“Thus, this promotes the creation of jobs, raises productivity and advances economic growth in general,” Ogundipe noted.

The former vice chancellor stated that there was the need for Nigeria to prioritise research and innovation in order to establish a strong internal security framework.

According to him, to protect the security and welfare of citizens, it is essential to utilise state-of-the-art technologies, implement evidence-based tactics, and constantly adjust to new threats.

He said that significant portion of the nation’s internal crisis could be resolved if government made use of the wealth of research expertise that existed in the country.

“In light of this, I am calling on the Federal and State Governments to look at the capabilities and potential found in the ecosystem of research and innovation in order to address the diverse crises that exist throughout the nation,” he stated.

Earlier in his opening remark, Mr Mojeed Alabi, Chairman of EWAN, urged researchers to come up with resolutions to address the state of insecurity as it affects food, health, environment, finance and national development in the country.

“When you go to advanced nations of the world, whatever major challenges they face, they go to their academic/research institutions for resolutions.

“An example was when COVID-19 struck. The first place people went to was the academic/research institutions for resolutions, and the result was the vaccine.

“The idea is to look for what the egg heads are doing, or can do to address these issues.

“We must bring government together to come and learn from researchers,” he added.

Millicent Ifeanyichukwu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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