It was a gathering of stakeholders in the security/defence sector of Nigeria, including the police, army, Immigration service, customs, Department of State Service (DSS), Civil Defence Corps and private security agencies, as well as journalists, bank executives, drivers of telecoms sector and people from all walks of life, recently, at the Banquet Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, where they brainstormed on how to manage security challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gathering, under the auspices of the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), was described by speakers as the first of its kind, as stakeholders converged to profer solutions to Nigeria’s security challenges.
During the ceremony, some security personnel businessmen and organisations who have performed exceptionally well in their various fields of endeavours were rewarded with the highly coveted CRAN Award. Top on the list of honourees was Africa’s global financial institution, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) which bagged the Most Security Conscious Bank of the year.
According to research by CRAN standing committee on Due Diligence, UBA has been in the forefront of supporting the police and putting in place digital security measures in securing customers money as well as bank’s assets.
” UBA has over the years been recipient of awards and recognition for pioneering innovation in the African banking sector.
Some of its landmark achivements include: The first among international banks to be registered under Nigerian Law in 1961; the first Nigerian bank to offer an IPO, following its listing on Nigerian stock Exchange in 1971.
According to President CRAN, Mr. Odita Sunday , a report from UBA stated that the financial institution has done many great things ,” the bank has created a corporate culture foundated upon strong organisational values and performance-driven operating standards ,while our multicultural and multilingual staff enjoy the distinct advantage of having a multilingual and multicultural operation ,with a staff base fluent in the three major global languages : English , French and Portuguese.Therefore, our customers are never at a loss with their transactions in the bank, no matter the language they decide to deal in. Essentially ,we serve a diverse range of customers accros different nationalities , culture and languages, cutting across all strata of business and persons”.
Presently the award, to the representative of the GMD United Bank for Africa ,Mr Kenedy Uzoka, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) incharge of Zone 2 Command,Mr Ahmed Iliyasu, said the bank merited the honour and advised other financial institutions to emulate the virtue of UBA.
AIG Iliyasu , pointed out that for Journalists to pice UBA for the honour,there must be something good about the bank.
He said that security is everybody’s business and congratulated UBA and CRAN for being security conscious.
The representative of Mr Uzoka, Ramon Nasir ,who is the Head Corporate Communications of UBA, said the bank would continue to do its’ best to keep the flag flying:” On behalf of GMD and the management of UBA I want appreciate CRAN for the honour given to us. We will continue to synergise with CRAN. We will continue to do our best, because to whom much is given ,much is expected of him.The award will spur us to do more”.
Odita , thanked UBA for the support being given to CRAN each time it needed assistance.
Earlier, the guest lecturer, a former director of the DSS , Mr. Dennis Amachree, advised that people should not travel during this Christmas season as danger was all over the roads, villages, towns and cities.
Amachree said that the security agencies had no capacity to tackle current security challenges because they were over-stretched, adding that people travelling at this period would be doing so at their own risk.
He said: “As you are aware, soldiers are in 32 states fighting terrorism, while the police are manning internal security, yet the police is not enough. We have about 400,000 police deployed in various parts of the country with a population of about 220 million, but a country like Egypt has about 1.3 million policemen.
“We should remain where we are until the government is able to do something about the security situation and re-jig the police force that has the responsibility of protecting life and property.
“If you must travel, you should be very careful and watch out on these roads that are hot spots for criminals, especially kidnappers, armed robbers and killer herdsmen. Lagos-Ibadan road is prone to accidents. Lokoja-Okene and Abuja-Kaduna roads have high rate of kidnapping. Ibadan, Enugu-Port-Harcourt road carry frequent accidents. I think the first solution is to safeguard yourself. So, remain where you are and don’t travel anyhow.”
Amachree advised Nigerians to avoid travelling for the yuletide, considering the prevailing insecurity all around the country, warning that: “2020 is a unique year and if I have to give any security advise, I would recommend that you stay where you are this festive season. The roads are not safe, air fares have skyrocketed and the pandemic is entering a second wave globally. Prevention is better than cure.”
The former secret service top brass also raised the alarm over looming food scarcity in Nigeria, if the continuous attacks of Boko Haram terrorists are left unchecked.