Effective interventions

Solving Security Challenges in Nigeria through Intelligence Gathering and Surveillance

Velma Foundation


Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with a population of over 158 million. With such a large number of people, security challenges are inevitable. Also expected is a proper response from law enforcement to ensure the security of lives and properties. This is a statutorily imposed duty on law enforcement agents, and a right guaranteed to the citizens of Nigeria.

Surveillance and intelligence gathering are some of the sophisticated methods that law enforcement authorities use to tackle security challenges. These help them gather information sufficient to prevent a crime that is yet to be committed, intervene in one that is being committed or investigate a crime that has been committed.

This paper is divided into two major halves. One half is devoted to examining the various categories of security challenges in Nigeria. The other half is further broken into two: the institutional framework for intelligence gathering and crime prevention and the methods of intelligence gathering in Nigeria.

In Part 1 of the paper, I examine 3 major categories of security challenges that the nation faces and which must be curtailed. In the second part, I evaluate the major national agencies that are responsible for intelligence gathering and surveillance that serve the purpose of curbing security challenges the nation faces. The third part examines some methods these agencies use in achieving this aim while the concluding part considers the implications of these methods for privacy.

Throughout the paper, and as it may become necessary, I compare the system in Nigeria with what obtains in the United States.


Keywords: Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, Intelligence, Surveillance, Boko-Haram, National Security, Nigeria

JEL Classification: K10, K42, K43, N40

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