Establishing a geospatial infrastructure for national intelligence services, advises Ayo Salam FG

As the federal government considers multidimensional approaches to address the hydra-headed security challenges facing the nation, Mr. Ayo Salam, an international human resource and management consultant, advised the government to deploy appropriate information technology solutions.

He said one such solution that could make a difference in a gorilla war is the establishment of National Intelligence Geospatial Infrastructure (NIGI).

The training expert said this in his introductory remark during the ongoing 5-day Training Workshop on Methodology for Preparation of Food Balance Sheet (FBS) at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Abuja.

The workshop put together by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has COINMAC International Consultancy Ltd as facilitators.

Salam, the chief executive of the consultancy, complained that the country’s acute shortage of food and hunger is being exacerbated by increased insecurity in nearly every part of the country.

He lamented the 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI), which ranked Nigeria 103rd out of 116 countries with enough data to calculate 2021 GHI scores, adding that Nigeria with a score of 28.3 have a severe hunger level.

“Nigeria’s Northwest and North-Central States face high food insecurity due to a combination of protracted armed conflict and violence, disrupted livelihoods, reduced market access, a local shortage of food production and the effects of COVID-19 on food. . supply chains.

“This story is clear and needs to be changed with all hands on deck to bring about actions that relieve the hunger of Nigerians,” he said.

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By finding solutions to the perennial insecurity problems, he said the country’s security forces need modern information technology solutions to combat the gorilla war the country is facing.

He said: “May I use this forum to advise the government to deploy appropriate information technology solutions in arresting the security concerns of our dear country.

Geospatial intelligence is defined as the exploitation and analysis of images and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually represent physical features and geographically referenced activities on Earth.

“Nigeria as an emerging regional and global power must use the National Intelligence Geospatial Infrastructure (NIGI) framework to develop applications and solutions that provide geospatial intelligence about other countries, friendly or not – assess exactly where something is, what it is and why it is important etc. in support of our national security, disaster relief, humanitarian missions and so on, both within and beyond our borders.

Solutions and applications in this area will also enable intelligence agencies to better predict and identify hot spots in the country, formulate appropriate strategies and respond to neutralize or contain threats. This infrastructure seeks to develop actionable intelligence that has military, environmental, disaster monitoring and many more implications.”

Speaking about the focus of the workshop, Mr Salam said that the food balance (FBS) is a tool that reflects the general trend in national food supply and demand and exposes any food shortages that may require imports, and that it is helpful in conducting an assessment to establish the food situation in each country through estimates and projections.

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He praised the application of FBS, which is essential for sustainable food security, and emphasized that the food balance provides a solid foundation for the policy analysis and decision-making necessary to ensure food security.

He said that without accurate data on food production and use, this government and every successive government cannot properly plan to make provisions for food supplies.

Salam said it was the dream of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to bring Nigerians out of an acute shortage, when the president said: “Nigerians should grow what they eat and eat what they grow” to increase food self-sufficiency and increase revenues. from foreign exchange. .

To achieve this, he proposed that the federal government, by way of law, establish a national standing committee or forum on food balance, which should include a select group of the many relevant stakeholders.

In his opening speech, the Federation Statistician General Prince Adeyemi Adeniran said that the workshop, among all the other training exercises that have been conducted, are just some of the ways to build the technical competence of the Federation staff. National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and indeed that of the National Statistical System in Nigeria, to meet the high demand for reliable and up-to-date statistics in Nigeria.

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The Federation Statistician General said the training is a fulfillment of a commitment made upon taking office that the primary focus will be on improving the Bureau’s technical activities.

The food balance training, he added, is provided as part of the ongoing National Agriculture Sample Census (NASC) and is a very important one.

“As we all know, the issue of food and agriculture is of great importance to the survival of any country, especially for a country like ours, where the agricultural sector accounts for more than 25 percent of our total GDP, with more than 60 percent per cent of our workforce engaged in some form of agricultural activity; be it crop production, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry or forestry, or even the transport or trade of agricultural products.

“We need to understand and know what food we produce as a country and what amounts of food we produce. We need to have an idea of ​​the total amount of food available to us at any given moment, and how much of it is consumed, processed, imported and exported. These are some of the questions food balance is trying to answer,” he said

The goal of the training, he added, is to see a situation where statisticians will begin the process of establishing a food balance for the country.

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Insecurity: Building a geospatial infrastructure for national intelligence services, advises Ayo Salam FG

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