The first edition of the Nigeria Emergency Response and Counter-Terrorism Workshop (NERCT) was held in the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria on October 8 2013. Policy makers and practioners were brought together to discuss the security situation in Nigeria and present solutions to the increasing problems facing Nigerians.
As it was a highly successful and at the request of the participants, it was announced that similar events would take place again in Nigeria in 2014, expanding into other security sectors. However, due to the Ebola epidemic, NERCT 2014 had to be cancelled. Following the hiatus, the workshop returned in December 2015.
Supported by Puzzles Group and chaired by MOSECON Africa’s managing director Uzoma I. Kingsley, NERCT 2015 focused on intelligence gathering and analysis, terrorism and counter-terrorism tactics, risk management and professionalism in the security industry.
In 2016, NERCT was held in Abuja once again. Highlights of the event were the panel discussion “Growing Insurgencies in Nigeria: How can the Government restore Security?” and the workshop on counter-terrorism, which focused on the conflict with Boko Haram and the militancy in the Niger Delta. However, the underlining topic of the two days of NERCT 2016 was lack of trust. There is no trust in any decision maker, political or otherwise, and limited trust in outside actors, whether they be public or private. Restoring that trust begins with empowerment and education, but more importantly, it begins with Nigerians taking control of their own institutions and country.