Last night, a friend and I were chatting about different things when she mentioned that she had tried to apply to the National Intelligence Agency. I was like 'whaaaat?'. I paused in shock land at the realization that we too had an intelligence agency (how did I not know this?)
I have heard of the Central Intelligence Agency (America), Mossad (Isreal), MI6(Britain) but never in my wildest dreams did I think Nigeria owned an intelligence agency. (I guess i just never thought about what need we had to collect intelligence).
Back to my story, I immediately googled and found out that Nigeria has had an intelligence agency since 1986 (Babangida's time). The agency was responsible for Foreign Intelligence and counterintelligence operations.
At this point, I could only think 'Gegen'.
So I processed the information.
I mean I have had some experience with the intelligence community of the western world. Yes. It is true. If you call hundreds of hours watching CIA, FBI and MI6 movies and series, experience. (you were not expecting me to state that I was a spy, were you?)
I mean, I have actually applied to the CIA for a job but was refused on the grounds that they do not recuit 'non-americans' in direct service. (So yea, like I said, Experience!)
So from my 'experience', my understanding of gathering intelligence is that the agency uses several details gathered by its agents to unearth/deduce what other countries are likely to be thinking. They master the art of using such intelligence to modify public policies and relationships with other countries.
Intelligence agencies are independent. (For the simple reason that they outlive governments and what they do is precarious to the defence of their nation).
So I googled and discovered that we had a website www.nationalintelligenceagency.gov.ng ( I was super excited that we had a website but the excitement didn't last long when I began to read the content).
I was sad.
I had an idea what the website of an intelligence agency should contain. And not wanting to write off my country, I quickly looked at the websites of the CIA, MI6 and Mossad websites. I saw a difference.
Ours featured an article on a chat with Goodluck Jonathan. While I know every country has a right to its creative licence, I daresay, some come across very unserious.
Our website looked unserious.
How does an agency tasked with Foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations pay attention to the mundane things I found on the website?
In 2012, this agency, alongside the SSS, DIA & other security outfits got a budget for N921.91 Billion, roughly US$ 5.7 Billion.
For me this raised many questions such as, whether this agency is set up to help the minions in the federal government launder money? if it is set up to get information on individuals and corporation who resist the government of the day? if it is set up to stage deaths at the behest of political elements? or if it does the job of intelligence gathering it has been created to do.
Honestly, I don't know. But one thing is certain, we need to open our eyes and see what is around us, open our eyes and ask questions.
So if you have any information about this agency, kindly send to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I would appreciate your comments and thoughts on this mystified agency.