The information about FBI agents in Nigeria tensed the air especially when the issue of Boko Haram uprising was at its peak. Well, the issue of intelligence sharing and gathering has become a top priority for every government plagued with militancy and terrorism issues.
Most of you would want to know whether Nigeria has an equivalent of the American FBI operating within its environs. The answer is yes. The organization similar to FBI in Nigeria is known as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). The National Intelligence Agency is charged with the responsibility of gathering, monitoring and sharing all foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations that comes in and out of Nigeria.
The organization is controlled directly by the Federal Government and it was established on 5th of June, 1986 by the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida who restructured Nigeria’s security services and further divided them into three different entities. All these he put under the Office of the Co-ordinatior of National Security. The three entities under the office of the co-ordinator of national security are
- The National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
- The State Security Services (SSS)
- The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)
National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
As earlier stated, the NIA functions is similar to the work of the Secret Intelligence Service in the United Kingdom also known as the MI6, the Australian Secret Intelligence, Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the American Federal Bureau Intelligence. Currently, the Director General of the NIA presently is Ayo Oke. and its headquarters is in Abuja, Nigeria. One thing to note about the NIA is that it has headed by non-military personnel since its inception till date.
The NIA over the years have enhanced national security. With well-trained patriotic agents and up-to-date equipment that meets the intelligence needs of the country, the National Intelligence Agency is stacked with the man power, professionals and experts in planning intelligence investigations and activities to aid and support other security agencies in Nigeria which is noted in their mission- to produce comprehensive, contextual and timely intelligence in issues related to internal security.
The salary paid to agents in the NIA have not been made available for public consumption as they prefer their salary structure classified. The National Intelligence Agency is divided into different departments which helps to increase productivity and improves effectiveness due to the sensitivity of the work carried out by the NIA.
Difference and Roles of the SSS, NIA and DIA
Although, the intelligence agencies in Nigeria are divided into three separate organizations; the three of them still work hand in hand for effective management of intelligence to enhance National security. The State Security Service SSS is solely responsible for all matters related to domestic intelligence in Nigeria and protection of the President, Governors and their families. The NIA is charged with the responsibility for all issues related to foreign intelligence as well as counterintelligence operations. The DIA on its part was formed to regulate all matters related to military intelligence in Nigeria.