Nigeria furious with US’ false security alarm
The Nigerian government has condemned the recent travel advisory by the United States of America to its citizens in Nigeria saying such advisory could cause needless panic and have adverse economic impacts.
The US had, on November 3, warned its citizens in Nigeria of “elevated threats” to major hotels in the “larger cities” of Nigeria.
The advisory, however, said the Nigerian security agencies were working to counter the threat.
Beyond government’s discomfort, there’s a general belief among most Nigerians that these sort of alarms are needless,as most of them have turned out to be untrue.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja during a press briefing with editors, Nigeria’s minister of information and national orientation, Mohammed Idris, said such advisory was going to undermine the efforts the government had been making to attract investors to Nigeria.
He said the government had consistently prioritized the safety and well-being of all visitors to Nigeria.
“We have implemented comprehensive security measures both at the federal and state levels to ensure the safety of tourists and international guests. These measures include intense intelligence gathering, acquisition and deployment of additional platforms, training and re-training of personnel, cooperation with international law enforcement agencies, among others, to maintain a secure environment,” he said.
On post oil subsidy removal economic interventions, Idris said the present administration provided some palliatives in short, medium and long terms to help cushion the effects of the subsidy removal.
He said government provided a wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months to enhance federal minimum wage, without causing undue inflation.
He said the government had also launched a N100 billion CNG bus rollout programme, to deliver CNG-powered buses, and established a presidential committee to drive implementation.
According to him, the government is finalizing the process for payment of a cash transfer of N25,000 monthly to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria for three months.
He said a presidential directive for the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and the FCT to moderate prices was in force, adding that 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers were amongst measures to curb the sufferings of Nigerians.
On insecurity, Idris said the security agencies had remained on their toes in ensuring that citizens were safe, stating that, seven bandits were neutralized in various operations between November 1 and 3 in Kaduna State.
He noted that in Katsina State, two corps members who were kidnapped by bandits were successfully rescued by security agencies.
“In Kano State, on November 3, a joint operation by troops of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services carried out a dawn raid operation on terrorists’ hideout in Gezawa Local Government Area, successfully averting an imminent attack on Kano by insurgents. The operation recovered AK-47 rifles, AK-47 rifle magazines, a Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG), RPG bombs, hand grenades, Improvised Explosive Device (IED)-making materials, among others.”
“In the North-East and North-West of the country, the Nigerian Air Force has been very busy, with several successful airstrikes on bandits’ and terrorists’ camps and hideouts in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno states.
“The Air Force has also recently taken delivery of four new aircraft, to strengthen the fight against banditry and terrorism.”
“In our maritime environment, on October 25, the Eastern and Central Naval Commands flagged off a Joint Sea Exercise, Exercise SEA GUARDIAN 2023,” he said.
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