Following travel advisory by the United States, the Federal Government yesterday said there is no cause for panic by Nigerians.
It also said it will ensure the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors.
It said security and intelligence agencies have been constantly at work, foiling threats, and neutralizing bandits.
It said the Nigerian Air Force has been busy with successful airstrikes against criminals and terrorists in the Northeast and Northwest.
It allayed fears that the crisis in Niger Republic might fuel terrorism in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alh. Mohammed Idris, who spoke at a session with journalists, said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was determined to secure the country.
The interactive session was attended by the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to the President, Mr. Bayo Onanuga; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mr. Tunde Rahman; the Director-General, National Orientation Agency(NOA), Alh. Lanre Issa-Onilu; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Tope Ajayi and the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Alh. Ali. M. Ali.
Others included the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Charles Ebuebu and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mallam Jibrin Baba Ndace.
But the Minister said travel advisories do not achieve anything other than needless panic.
He said: “We understand the concerns raised by the United States government in their recent travel advisory, but believe that it is imperative that we do not generalize isolated incidents across the entire hospitality industry.
“ What we have seen is that such advisories do not achieve anything other than needless panic, and they can have severe adverse economic impact, not to talk of what they do to undermine the government’s efforts to attract investment.
“We have consistently prioritized the safety and well-being of all visitors to our country. 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.”
Idris said security and intelligence agencies are constantly at work, foiling threats, and neutralizing bandits and terrorists.
He listed the gains recorded by the agencies in the last one week, including successful airstrikes.
He added: “The Nigeria government is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors to our country and will continue to work towards maintaining a secure and hospitable environment for tourists and business travelers and the likes.
“ Our security agencies have been very busy, doing their best to keep us all safe. I will highlight just a few of those successes in recent days: In various parts of Kaduna State, seven bandits were neutralized, in various operations between the 1st and 3rd of November.
”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.
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“In Katsina, two NYSC members abducted by bandits were successfully rescued. 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 4 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.
“I have taken some time to outline some of these efforts to make the point that our security and intelligence agencies are constantly at work, foiling threats, and neutralizing those who seek to undermine the security of the country. And for this reason, they deserve the full support of all Nigerians, the media included. Please pay attention to what they’re doing, and give amplified coverage to their successes and gains.
“The bandits, terrorists, kidnappers, pirates and so on are waging not only a physical battle but also a psychological one.
Idris dismissed insinuations that the political crisis in Niger Republic could fuel terrorism in the country.
He said the President was balancing the needs of ECOWAS with the nation.
On security yacht, he said: “It’s not as if the Yacht was bought for the comfort of the president but something that was procured for the Navy.
“It is true that delivery has taken place since June. It is not as if the President is just putting in the request now. You can see what has happened in the National Assembly. The money put there has been taken out to the student loan arrangement.
“This government is very sensitive, it is always responding to the yearnings of all Nigerians and therefore whenever there is any commentary or any observation about any government policy, it will continue to respond appropriately for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“But I want to plead with the media that this is just one aspect…there are so many things out there in the budget…there are provisions for food security, additional funding for security forces so Nigerians can be safe.
On post oil subsidy removal economic interventions, he said: “President Tinubu and the Administration have been taking all necessary measures to alleviate the pains being felt, and to cushion the impact of these foundational reforms being pursued. These interventions are designed to serve as palliatives in the short and medium-term, while we wait to reap the long-term benefits of the reforms,” he said.