Intelligence information sharing: benefits of collaboration among security agents in Nigeria

Nigerian Air Force

Nigerian Air Force

Continued From Last Week
When breakdowns in information sharing occur, it erodes trust and is counterproductive to risk management, an example was the case where the US Troops providing combat training for the Nigerian Ranger Unit for counter insurgency opps in Nigeria were pulled out back in December 2014, because of, allegedly, “America’s reluctance to share real-time intelligence with the Nigerian military and refusal to sell Cobra helicopters to Nigeria”. Information sharing is perhaps the most important factor in the protection and resilience of critical infrastructure. Information on threats to infrastructure and their likely impact underlies nearly every security decision made by owners and operators, including which assets to protect, how to make operations more resilient, how to plan for potential disasters, when to ramp up to higher levels of security, and how to respond in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. There is need to look at intelligence information flowing from the Federal Government to critical infrastructure owners and operators as well as risk information flowing from critical infrastructure owners and operators to the government.

The way information is gathered, analyzed, packaged, and shared among security operatives can be complex. In tackling this complexity, there is need to examine the different stages of the intelligence cycle, including requirements generation, information collection, analysis, and dissemination. In other to achieve this, there would be need to gather a variety of opinions, by conducting extensive interview with security directors, chief executives, subject matter experts, government executives and managers. Recognizing that distinct sector characteristics will shape information sharing needs.

The Nation’s Intelligence Information Sharing Challenge can be complex knot of attitudes and structural issues that work against information sharing. There are lots of benefits to the Nation that could be realized if security operatives have the will to more effectively leverage on the knowledge and insights of individual agencies. If properly managed, information sharing between the security operatives could be one of the most powerful tools to combat crime, terrorism, natural disasters, and other crime related activities.

The following issues must be addressed head-on in other to build trusted and efficient information flows among security operatives and reduce risks to the Nation’s critical infrastructure for a more secured society:

• Authority and Policy: Is the appropriate authority and policy structure in place, and is it clear and understood by all security operatives?

• Implementation of Authority: Do the organizational structures and processes enable effective integration of threat, vulnerability, and consequence information within and among security operatives?

• Capability Leveraging: Do security operatives understand and leverage each other’s capabilities?

• Information Content: Is there a bi-directional flow of Intelligence Information among security operatives.

• Information Delivery: Are there effective bi-directional processes that enable the timely sharing of information among security operatives in the Country?

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