The United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Armed Forces, James Heappey, has announced that Britain is committed to improving intelligence sharing with Nigeria and other countries to address the challenges of terrorism and piracy in the Lake Chad Basin and Gulf of Guinea.
Heappey made this statement while speaking with journalists at the British High Commission in Abuja on Tuesday.
Heappey emphasized the importance of surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, stating, “The reality is that we have an opportunity to improve our intelligence sharing and capability in surveillance and reconnaissance is really important.”
He further added that the UK would support countries within the region to develop their own solutions to the security challenges they face.
Heappey also highlighted the longstanding and strong relationship between the UK and Nigerian armed forces, stating, “The reason our armed forces remain so close is that the relationship is being renewed again and again since independence because we have worked together to address challenges like maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea or terrorism in the Lake Chad basin and we will continue to do so.”
He emphasized that collaboration, including training together and sharing tactics and techniques, has been key to this relationship.
Heappey noted that the UK Royal Navy has provided support to Nigeria through naval operations in the Gulf of Guinea, including training and developing capability together. He further stated that both countries would continue to strengthen their efforts against insecurity.
“We are in a constant conversation, we need to collaborate to fight the spread of violence in the Sahel, the growing instability in Burkina Faso, the continuing violence in the Lake Chad Basin and the rise of Islamic State In West Africa (ISWAP),” Heappey said.