The Federal Government on Friday signed an agreement with the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit, to set up its operational headquarters in Abuja, as part of strategies to better combat Boko Haram.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama signed the agreement on behalf of the government while the RIFU Coordinator, Denis Minitya, a Cameroonian, signed on behalf of the agency.
Onyeama explained that the RIFU was established at the Paris Summit on May 17,2014 by the Presidents of Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Niger with strategic support from France, United Kingdom and the United States, to provide intelligence for the campaign against the Boko Haram insurgency.
He stated that the agency was meant to institutionalise intelligence sharing and cooperative mechanism among the security forces of the member countries in order to overcome the Boko Haram security challenge.
The minister said the agreement was for the establishment of the RIFU headquarters in Abuja, describing the move as an important step in the battle against extremism and terrorism.
“Beyond the classical military response,a weapon we need against the insurgency is intelligence and our intelligence must be tip-top for us to win this fight, so institutionalising the RIFU is important,” he said.
Minitya, said the agency has been operational since July, 2014, noting that it provided intelligence to Cameroon and Chad that enable them to foil terrorist attacks, leading to the arrests of suspects.
In response to questions on the funding of the agency, he said that it was being funded by all the member countries, with support from the strategic partners.