The Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch successfully hosted a two-day International Symposium on “Countering Organized Crime in Africa”. The event held on 24th and 25th October 2023 at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
Over 350 participated physically at the event and resource persons were drawn from government, private, CSOs and media organizations
Observations & Recommendations Arising
At the end of the symposium, participants made valuable observations and thereupon recommended as follows:
a. In view of the dynamic nature of organized crime, law enforcement agencies should de-emphasize militarized responses, prioritize strategic dialogue to promote and advance the quick resolution of civil conflicts, to effectively tackle the ever-evolving tactics of organized criminal groups.
b. Organized crime ought to be addressed through a holistic approach, particularly in the proactive deployment of kinetic and non-kinetic strategies from collaborative institutional perspectives.
c. There is an urgent need for continuous academia-practitioner dialogue, as a basis for knowledge exchange or sharing towards identifying new, effective, and contemporary approaches to address and combat current and emerging trends in organized crime.
d. Inter-agency cooperation and support ought to become the norm among law enforcement agencies within and outside the country to tackle organized crimes effectively.
e. Relevant agencies should institute sustainable collaborative mechanisms with the local people in conflict-prone zones, as this would facilitate and optimize information gathering and intelligence sharing to strengthen law enforcement actions and operations.
f. That authorities should empower security and law enforcement agencies with relevant critical technological enablers and the necessary tools to efficiently, and effectively anticipate, prevent, respond to, and manage conflicts and organized crimes.
g. The local, state, and federal tiers of government should instigate deliberate, concerted efforts to build resilient institutions, foster staff training, cross-training, and re-training, and ensure only merit-based appointments within the security, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies.
h. That there was an urgent necessity for appropriate agencies to effectively regulate and supervise all reporting entities, and to vigorously impose proportionate and dissuasive sanctions on such entities that fail to comply with national, regional and international anti-money laundering measures.
i. Law enforcement agencies should invoke proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against offenders and consider eliminating plea bargains in the prosecution of serious offenders.
j. There is an urgent need for the establishment of information fusion centre for the gathering and dissemination of intelligence in a timely and actionable format across relevant agencies for enhanced coordination and response.
k. The embarrassingly widespread grand corruption arising from local and international oil theft within Nigeria’s oil and gas sector must be confronted and curtailed through instant identification, shaming and punishment of public officers known to be involved in conspiring with and aiding the crude oil criminals.
l. The issue of combatting public sector corruption is paramount as it’s the enabler of all organized crime in Nigeria.
j. To continuously reexamine the relationship with neighbouring countries to enhance border security.
l. The foundation for building or rebuilding resilient institutions is the role of governance or effective and efficient utilization of human and material resources for the benefit of most Nigerians. The creation of economic opportunities in the short, medium and long term is critical in discouraging organized crime.
m. The executive, legislature and judiciary should play their roles effectively to ensure that their conduct does not encourage and enable criminals to thrive.
n. Nigeria has a significant role in Africa in countering organized crime.
We opine that relevant authorities driven by the Office of the National Security Adviser should consider the implementation of the recommendations to curtail the spate of organized crime in Africa.
We appreciate our partners from law enforcement, international organizations, civil society, media, academia and others too numerous to mention. We are particularly grateful to MacArthur Foundation Africa for their continuous support to our organization.