Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria’s intelligence agencies must adopt a culture that is empirical, data-driven and analytical.
The vice-president said this on Saturday in his address at the graduation ceremony of the executive intelligence management course (EIMC) 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies, Abuja.
According to Osinbajo, it has become imperative to reinvent the institutional culture of intelligence agencies.
“It is the unpredictable events that we must be prepared for. We must try especially because we have been given the responsibility to think ahead of a nation of this size and of this complexity. It falls upon our lives to plan ahead and to be imaginative,” he said.
“It is not enough for intelligence services to anticipate the threat that we have a clear line of sight to. Indeed, given the resource constraint that we face, we cannot afford to wait for the threat to become manifest dangers before we react.”
The vice-president said intelligence agencies must be proactive rather than reactive, adding that threats must be identified and addressed well before they evolve into manifest spheres.
“It is a very heavy burden indeed; but the truth is that the intelligence community, by the very nature of its mandate, is charged with being several steps ahead of the rest of us,” he said.
“This requires a high capacity for imagination; in fact, I will go so far as to say that, in many respects, a failure of intelligence is a failure of imagination.
“Imagination is also a function of what you read; what you listen to. What are you reading right now? Have you read the latest books on the dark web or the activities of global criminal networks?
“Are you intensely, constantly acquainting yourself with the most up-to-date thinking and knowledge in the security sector?
“The knowledge economy and information age is characterised by constant innovation and it is moving swiftly. It is so fluid that conventional wisdom is becoming obsolete every single day.
“The security and intelligence sector is not exempt from all the dynamics that face our world day. But I must say that perhaps the most critical area is that we must reinvent the institutional culture of our security and intelligence agencies.
“Our security and intelligence agencies must adopt a culture that is empirical, data-driven, analytical and defined by forensic rhythm.
“Above all, we must emphasise inter-agency collaboration and synergy; this is absolutely important. We are as good as the synergy between all of the agencies.”