April 2017

Risk Report | Nigeria: The economic and security implications of the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

Situating the Militancy

Located on Africa’s Western coast on the Gulf of Guinea and with an estimated population of 183 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Over the years, Nigeria has also emerged as Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP worth $481.07 billion in 2015. Even when ranked against other African resource-rich countries, Nigeria stands out as the leading economy on the African continent. Egypt’s GDP – despite the fact that the country is the second-largest African economy and natural gas producer – it does not exceed the threshold of $400 billion. Likewise, Angola – that led the African oil producing countries well above Nigeria in the first half of 2016 –  has a GDP worth only $102.96 billion, less than a third of Nigeria’s. Historically, the risk within Nigeria’s economic growth, has been that income and revenues have been tied to the exploitation of its resource-rich soil, with the oil and natural gas industry primarily located in the southern Niger Delta region.  Since crude oil was first discovered in 1956 in Oloibiri, in the South-Eastern Bayelsa state, the Niger Delta region has played a crucial role in the economics, politics and security of Nigeria. This has cultivated the conditions necessary for the emergence of the so-called politics of oil. A common practice of governance shared by other oil-rich countries across Africa. For Nigeria, this means that oil and natural gas revenues are the mainstays of its economy, accounting for roughly 70% of the Nigerian government’s income and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thy Self: Realities and Limitations of Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security

Critical national infrastructure (CNI) is an umbrella term representing various service industries essential to national function (Telecommunication), survival (Energy/Power), and social wellbeing (Medical). Responding to increasing national demands, more CNIs are joining the digital revolution to streamline operations and enhance productivity. However, despite the adoption of intelligent automation, we are still seeing a growing rate of malicious breaches amongst these enterprises. In a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape, our business-driven culture only serves to degrade the broader security wellbeing. It is thus imperative for corporate CNI decision makers to understand the realities and limitations facing their facilities.

Nature Abhors a Vacuum: The Next Stage in Post-Conflict Colombia

The peace treaty between the Colombian Government and Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia(FARC) has now been signed, officially bringing an end to a conflict that has persisted for decades. It is a great achievement that is supported by the UN. However, post-conflict Colombia has two major issues that must be addressed in order for the new treaty to have a positive effect on security in the country. FARC’s ‘demobilisation’ has led to large areas of the countryside suddenly facing a power vacuum that, if not filled by the Colombian government, will be susceptible to the threat of neo-paramilitary squads and vigilantism. The second issue is the behaviour of the military against the civilian population, most notably those within the countryside. There needs to be a willing transition within the Government security forces to act justly towards the civilian population, following a long period of aggressive tactics. The rule of law needs to be implemented within the country now more than ever to ensure the peace accords can deliver on their promises and finally bring peace to Colombia.