Shares of Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, dropped on Friday, as global financial markets continue to suffer from sector shocks not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. The euro fell against the dollar, the cost of insuring against bank defaults surged and the euro zone government bond yields sank, despite assurances from policymakers that the international banking system is secure.
Over the weekend, Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, reassured investors that US banks are "sound and resilient” during a Financial Stability Oversight Council meeting. This is the latest effort by global policymakers to calm market concerns following the collapse of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month.
Despite assurances from policymakers, investors are increasingly disenchanted with global banking systems. Over the last two weeks, short-sellers have recorded a profit of over $100m on paper bets against Deutsche Bank stock. The bank declined to comment on the matter.
Banking analysts have clarified that there is a fundamental difference between Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. The latter is considered to have strong fundamentals and profitability. The research firm Autonomous said that it was "crystal clear" that Deutsche Bank was "NOT the next Credit Suisse."
Despite market volatility, European policymakers such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Christine Lagarde, ECB Chief, and French President Emmanuel Macron have said they support their continent's banks, with all saying the system was stable. However, investors are skeptical.
Additional Tier 1 (AT1) debt - a $275bn market of bonds that can be written off during rescues to prevent the costs of bailouts falling onto taxpayers - has come under selling pressure. Europe and Asia have said they will continue to impose losses on shareholders before bondholders. While this approach is somewhat reassuring for investors, unease remains.
Although Deutsche Bank's decline has raised concerns across international banking, other banks are experiencing a ripple effect. The S&P 500 regional banks index recovered 1.75%, with PacWest Bancorp rallying more than 3% and First Republic Bank falling 1.4%. Italy's UniCredit is leaning towards repaying a perpetual bond in June to show it has ample capital.
Banking analysts are confident that Deutsche Bank is fundamentally a stable bank. Despite political reassurances, investors, and short-sellers are spooked by global banking sector shocks of late. Ultimately a recovery depends on markets seeing stability in the banking sector for weeks on end.
Europe's Banking Stocks Tumble as Worries Over Crises in the Sector Grow
Europe’s banking stocks tumbled Friday as investors acted on their lingering worries that the recent crises at some banks could spill over into the wider sector. Europe’s Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index, which tracks 42 big EU and UK banks, closed 3.8% lower. The index is down 18% from its high in late February. London’s bank-heavy FTSE 100 index closed down 1.3%.
Shares in Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank (DB), plunged as much as 14.5% before paring its losses to close 8.5% lower. Shares in UBS (UBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) were 3.6% and 5.2% down respectively. The cost of insuring against a possible default by Deutsche Bank on its debt has soared in recent days. Deutsche’s five-year credit default swaps (CDS) skyrocketed to 203 basis points Thursday, according to data from S&P Market Intelligence. That’s their highest level since early 2019. The swaps rose again Friday to trade at 208 basis points at midday ET.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Friday that there was “no reason to be concerned” about Deutsche Bank. “It’s a very profitable bank,” he told reporters in Brussels, where EU leaders issued a joint statement describing the European banking system as “resilient, with strong capital and liquidity positions.” Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
“The rising price of insuring CDS senior debt is weighing on Deutsche Bank, as well as other European banks, on concerns over the impact of rising rates on the wider economy and banks’ balance sheets,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told CNN. Last week, the European Central Bank stuck with its plan to hike interest rates by half a percentage point, judging that inflation posed a bigger threat to the economy than recent turmoil in the banking sector. Then, on Thursday, the Bank of England raised its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point after data showed a surprise spike in inflation last month.
But Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at investing platform Hargreaves Lansdown, told CNN that market nerves were out of step with reality. “Worries about contagion are again rearing up even though more deposits appear to have been flowing into the German lender since the banking scare erupted, and it is thought to have capital reserves well in excess of regulatory requirements,” she said.
Some analysts said investors had been rattled by Deutsche Bank’s announcement Friday that it would pay back one of its bonds five years before its maturity date. Investors would usually interpret such a move as a sign that a company is in good financial health and able to pay back its creditors early. But — after two bank collapses in the United States and an emergency takeover of Credit Suisse this month — some investors may have interpreted the announcement as a sign that Deutsche Bank is nervous about the state of the banking sector and trying to overcompensate, Jonas Goltermann, deputy chief markets economist at Capital Economics, told CNN. Goltermann said the bank’s decision “seems to have backfired.”
Deutsche Bank’s decision to pay back the bond ahead of schedule was pre-planned and not a reaction to recent market developments, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. The bond would have gradually lost its eligibility as a form of regulatory capital according to rules brought in after the 2008 financial crisis, the source said. The bank replaced the bond by issuing another bond of the same type in February, they added. Shares of Germany’s Commerzbank (CRZBF) and France’s Société Générale also suffered heavy losses, closing 5.5% and 5.9% lower respectively. Some investors are concerned that negative news will continue to pile up amongst the big EU and UK banks, particularly with respect to the effects of recent interest rate hikes. However, European officials continue to assert that there is no cause for concern at this time.
Shares in Deutsche Bank fell sharply on Friday, as fears about vulnerabilities in Germany's largest lender sent investors for the exits. Deutsche Bank shares closed down 9 per cent on the German stock exchange, and have now lost one-fifth of their value since the start of March.
The drop in the share price on Friday comes amid a steep rise in the cost of financial derivatives pegged to the bank, known as credit default swaps. Credit default swaps (CDS) are essentially insurance, which pay off if a company defaults on its loans. The higher the price of the insurance, the more likely the market thinks the underlying company is to default.
The price of a five-year Deutsche Bank CDS touched 220 basis points at one point on Friday, up from 142 just two days ago, according to S&P Global Intelligence. That's the highest level for a Deutsche Bank CDS since 2018, although by the close of trading it had settled at about 193. That's well below the price that swaps reached at other teetering banks recently. Prior to Credit Suisse being bailed out by UBS, the price of its swaps went as high as 1,194, S&P says.
Like Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank is one of 30 banks considered globally significant financial institutions under international rules, so it is required to hold higher levels of capital reserves because its failure could cause widespread losses.
Fears about Deutsche Bank come despite the lender's financial results showing capital reserves well in excess of regulatory requirements and 10 straight quarters of profitability. In 2022, the bank made 5.7 billion euros ($8.45 billion Cdn) in after-tax profit. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed support for the bank, stating "It's a very profitable bank. There's no reason to worry." However, concerns over the company continue to persist.
Banks around the world have been gripped by fears after the sudden and unexpected collapse of several U.S. banks. Although the details are different in each case, a common thread to all their problems is sharply higher interest rates, which are a double-edged sword for lenders because they increase the returns from their loans, but sharply reduce the value of their government bond holdings if they are forced to sell them in a hurry to raise capital.
"In our view, the tail risk has not entirely gone," said Frédérique Carrier, head of investment strategy with RBC Wealth Management. "Scars heal slowly and concerns about the sector are likely to linger. The banking system is based on confidence so we have to monitor future developments very closely."
Shares in other European banks were also lower on Friday, but not by as much as Deutsche Bank. Germany's Commerzbank was down 6 per cent, France's Société Generale was down by about the same amount, while Austria's Raiffaisen was off by almost 8 per cent. "This is a global issue right now and nobody knows where it will end. So people are acting with their feet and continuing to sell bank stocks," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel.
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Germany’s Deutsche Bank has led a sell-off in European banking shares amid mounting fears another bank could slip into trouble after the emergency merger of UBS and Credit Suisse last week. However, some strategists and investors cautioned that it might be a fear-induced sell-off, rather than having been triggered by concerns over liquidity at Deutsche.
Shares in the German bank fell as much as 14% before recovering some ground to end Friday down 8.6%. They have lost 28% since the start of the month. Europe’s Stoxx 600 banks index fell 4%, and the UK’s banking index fell more than 3%. In New York, the KBW bank index fell almost 2% in morning trading.
“Just as hopes had risen that contagion would be contained, banking stocks in Europe have been battered again by fears that fresh problems could be lurking,” said Susannah Streeter, the head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.“Waves of bad news keep hitting the banking sector and the tide doesn’t look like it’s set to turn any time soon,” she added.
However, according to a portfolio manager at a large asset management firm, “a bad vibe” did not mean that there was a belief that Deutsche would suddenly topple. “I can’t see it – yet,” they said, adding that the “worry of contagion may become contagion itself”.
Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, told reporters at a press conference: “Deutsche Bank has fundamentally modernised and reorganised its business and is a very profitable bank. “For many years now, we have taken very correct decisions with regard to the stability of our banks in Europe.”
Social media, a factor believed to have hastened the fate of Credit Suisse, was again awash with worries about Deutsche, homing in on charts showing a form of debt insurance called a credit default swap (CDS). If this spikes upward it can be an indication that investors believe that the entity behind the CDS is more likely to default on its debts.
The flurry on social media illustrated a longstanding problem with confidence and markets, that “people have got themselves into a state of panic”, said a strategist at a large US insurer. “The dynamics of a bank run are always effectively Chinese whispers. It may prove a problem of pace rather than size,” he said.
In London, banks led the UK’s blue-chip index lower, with Barclays and Standard Chartered down 6%, and and NatWest off 4%. They helped to drag the FTSE 100 down by 1.6%.
Bill Winters, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, said earlier on Friday that the decision to wipe out $17bn (£13.9bn) of risky Credit Suisse debt as part of its rescue deal would have “profound” implications for global banking regulation.
The move spooked markets and prompted a sell-off in other bank debt earlier this week, as investors scrambled to assess whether the same could happen for their holdings of AT1 debt in other banks, a market worth more than $275bn. “I think it had very profound implications for the regulation of banks, and for the way that banks manage themselves,” Winters said, speaking at a financial forum in Hong Kong.
In the past two weeks, two US regional banks, California-based Silicon Valley Bank and New York’s Signature Bank, have collapsed because of heavy losses on their bond portfolios and a run on deposits by jittery investors. In the UK, HSBC moved to acquire the British arm of SVB in a £1 deal brokered by the government, after the biggest bank failure since 2008. Last week, Wall Street companies including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan agreed a $30bn rescue deal to prop up the troubled mid-sized bank First Republic, although it may need further funding. Winters said there appeared to be “nonviable business models remaining, at least in the US”.
Credit Suisse shares fell 4% this morning, moving to levels just above the record low it reached at the worst point of trade on Monday, when the financial sector reacted to the failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) and Signature Bank (SBNY).
The annual report had been delayed over a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission over revisions to its cash flow statements from 2019 and 2020, as well as related controls. The bank's annual report published Tuesday describes "material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting" both for 2021 and 2022.
The bank says it failed to design and maintain an effective risk assessment process to identify and analyse the risk of material misstatements. It also failed to design and maintain effective monitoring activities.
"While we are taking steps to address these material weaknesses, which could require us to expend significant resources to correct the material weaknesses or deficiencies, any gaps or deficiencies in our internal control over financing reporting may result in us being unable to provide required financial information in a timely and reliable manner and/or incorrectly reporting financial information, which could reduce confidence in our published information, impact access to capital markets, impact the trading price of our securities or subject us to potential regulatory investigations and sanctions," the bank said.
The bank did confirm its financial statements for 2021 and 2022, as well as cash flow details from 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Credit Suisse has lost money for five straight quarters and says it's expecting to post a loss before tax this year. It's undergoing a big transformation after losing billions lending to the Archegos family office and having to freeze $10 billion worth of funds tied to Greensil Capital. Clients pulled out about $100 billion from Credit Suisse in the fourth quarter.
Credit Suisse says it won't pay a bonus to any of its executive board members for the 2022 year, and said its chairman, Axel Lehmann, will voluntarily give up a chair fee of 1.5 million francs ($1.6 million). Lehmann is reportedly being probed over comments he made saying outflows had stopped at the Swiss bank when they had continued.
"Regarding the financial reporting controls issue, it could not have come at a worst time for Credit Suisse. As we have once again seen with the SVB debacle, trust and confidence are everything in banking. Credit Suisse was already under pressure as depositors, and other funding providers lost confidence, leading to substantial client withdrawals in 4q22, and its cost of funding increased with ballooning CDS spreads.
"The announcement will do little to help restore confidence. However, most analysts pay little intention to banks’ cash flow statements. Cash is the raw material for a bank, meaning cash flow statements do not always reflect the actual operating cashflows for a bank. The misstatements are also confined to prior periods. It once again confirms that Credit Suisse's risk management and internal controls were deficient in the past."
The last recorded quote on pricing source CMAQ stood at 835.9 basis points on Tuesday. Traders were seeing prices of as high as 1,200 basis points on one-year senior credit-default swaps Wednesday morning, according to two people who saw the quotes and asked not to be named because they aren’t public. There can be a lag between pricing seen by traders and those on CMAQ at times of frantic activity.
Spreads of more than 1,000 basis points in one-year senior bank CDS is an extremely rare phenomenon.
Major Greek banks traded at similar levels during the country’s debt crisis and economic slump. The level recorded on Tuesday is about 18 times the contract for rival Swiss bank UBS Group AG, and about nine times the equivalent for Deutsche Bank AG.
A spokesperson at Credit Suisse declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.
The CDS curve is also deeply inverted, meaning that it costs more to protect against an immediate failure at the bank instead of a default further down the line.
Traders typically ascribe a higher cost of protection over longer, more uncertain periods.
Shares in the lender were also plunging on Wednesday, reaching a new record low and dragging other banking stocks in the region lower. The stock fell as much as 22% after its shareholder, Saudi National Bank Chairman Ammar Al Khudairy, ruled out investing any more in the company.
Credit Suisse is in the midst of a complex three-year restructuring in a bid to return the bank to profitability.
It was hard hit by the recent wave of bearishness triggered by Silicon Valley Bank’s demise, with its five-year CDS spreads hitting a record.
Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Koerner said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday that business momentum improved this quarter and that the bank attracted funds after the collapse of SVB.
As a systemically important bank, Credit Suisse follows “materially different standards” in terms of capital strength, funding and liquidity than lenders such as SVB, Koerner said. He said the lender had a CET1 capital ratio of 14.1% in the fourth quarter and a liquidity coverage ratio of 144% that has since increased.
“The other point is, the volume of our term fixed income securities as part of our HQLA portfolio is absolutely not material,” he said, referring to the bank’s holdings of high-quality liquid assets. “And the exposure to interest rates is fully hedged on top of it.”
Outflows of client money, which were at unprecedented levels in early October amid a social media firestorm that questioned the bank’s health, haven’t reversed as of this month, though have stabilized at much lower levels, according to Tuesday’s annual report.
Chairman Axel Lehmann said Wednesday that government assistance “isn’t a topic” for the lender and that it wouldn’t be accurate to compare the Swiss bank’s current problems with the recent collapse of SVB. He was speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Saudi Arabia.
--With assistance from Dale Crofts.
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is preparing to prosecute Boko Haram suspects.
INSIDE NIGERIA previously learned that the suspects were being held at a military facility in Kainji, Niger state, until March 2023.
Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Nigeria's Attorney General and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, made the announcement over the weekend.
According to Jedy-Agba, extensive plans and preparations have been made for the resumption of legal proceedings against Boko Haram suspects.
According to Jedy-Agba, the Buhari administration is committed to delivering justice, appeasing the feelings of victims/survivors, and decongesting detention facilities firmly and irreversibly.
It stated that the delay in the trials of the defendants could be attributed to mitigating factors such as diligent investigation and, more importantly, the need to put in place the adequate infrastructure and measures necessary for fair and proper trials in order to comply with global minimum standards.
According to her;
The government is taking steps to reconfigure military detention facilities to be adaptable and conducive to the resumption of trials, and maintains that there is an overriding official commitment to ensure that the atmosphere and ambience of the trial venue is adjusted to world best practices.
We will start prosecution at the end of the first quarter of 2023. We are in the process of renovating and actually rebuilding facilities such as courtrooms and residential areas.
It is important to ensure that improved measures are implemented. We are using military facilities and therefore they were not built as proper courts. The resort to the use of military installations is to ensure that the trials take place in a safe and secure environment. There are risks associated with moving such a large number of defendants at the same time for trial, so this is a critical issue that is of the utmost concern.
We have obtained all the relevant approvals to proceed with the projects and we are working very closely with the Office of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) and other military authorities to ensure that by the end of the first quarter of 2023, we will definitely begin trials.
Speaking about the willingness of Federal Government prosecutors to commit to best practices, in particular the observance of the rights of accused persons, Jedy-Agba stated that the Federal Ministry of Justice is so concerned about the pain and plight of victims of terrorism as sensitive to the rights of the defendants in upcoming trials.
The idea is to ensure that while we respect the rights of the accused, we must also take into account the sensitivity of Nigerians who have been victims of terrorism, as well as the general security of Nigerians as a whole.
Therefore, we will ensure, to the extent possible, that the minimum human rights requirements are met. We will open the trial site for comment from selected civil society organizations (CSOs), as well as human rights institutions, such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). We are working with the Legal Aid Council (LAC) and other stakeholders to ensure that accused persons have access to justice.
Obviously we are not going to open the place, for security reasons. I'm sure you are aware that recently, like a few weeks ago, there was an attempt to attack the facility. So obviously it's not going to be as open as you'd like, because we want to make sure that the safety of our judges, witnesses and interpreters is protected.
He said the number of defendants in the upcoming trial was huge and appreciable and he was not in a position to give the specific number as arrests continued to be made on a daily basis in the fight against terrorism.
He noted: “I don't want to be specific about that because the number changes every time as security agencies keep making arrests. I can't say for sure how many at this time. But it's a pretty hefty number."Credit: https://www.withinnigeria.com/news/2023/01/08/terrorism-fg-to-resume-trial-of-boko-haram-suspects-jedy-agba/
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The federal government has revealed that adequate preparations are being made for the resumption of the second phase of the prosecution of Boko Haram suspects currently being held at military facilities in Kainji, Niger State, by March 2023.
The Ministry had recently recognized the special intervention granted by President Muhammadu Buhari for the provision of funds and other logistics for the start of the exercise.
The Federation Attorney General and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ms. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, who revealed this over the weekend, said that extensive plans and preparations for the resumption of the prosecution of suspected Boko Haram have already been advanced. suspects
He told reporters in Abuja that the Federal Government's commitment to administer justice, ease the feelings of victims/survivors and decongest detention facilities was firm and irreversible.
He explained that the public interest in the trial was expected, noting that the apparent delay in the trial of the defendants could be attributed to mitigating factors related to diligent investigation and, more importantly, the need to establish the proper infrastructure. and the steps necessary for a proper and proper trial. fair trials to meet minimum global standards.
According to her, “the government is taking steps to reconfigure military detention facilities so that they are adaptable and conducive to the resumption of trials, maintaining that there is an overriding official commitment to ensure that the atmosphere and environment of the trial site is adjust to the best conditions”. global practices.
“We will start the prosecution at the end of the first quarter of 2023. We are in the process of renovating and actually rebuilding facilities such as courtrooms and residential areas.
“It is important to ensure that improved measures are put in place. We are using military facilities and therefore they were not built as proper courts. The resort to the use of military installations is to ensure that the trials take place in a safe and secure environment. There are risks associated with moving such a large number of defendants at the same time for trial, so this is a critical issue that is of the utmost concern.
“We have obtained all the relevant approvals to proceed with the projects and we are working very closely with the Office of the Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS) and other military authorities to guarantee that by the end of the first quarter of 2023, definitively begin the trials," he said.
Responding to a question about the preparation of Federal Government prosecutors to commit to best practices, especially the observance of the rights of accused persons, Ms. Jedy-Agba said that the Federal Ministry of Justice was so concerned about the pain and the plight of victims of terrorism, as it is sensitive to the rights of defendants in upcoming trials.
“The general idea is to ensure that while we respect the rights of the accused, we must also take into account the sensitivity of Nigerians who have been victims of terrorism, as well as the general security of Nigerians as a whole.
“Therefore, we will ensure, to the extent possible, that the minimum human rights requirements are met. We will open the trial site for comment from selected civil society organizations (CSOs), as well as human rights institutions, such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). We are working with the Legal Aid Council (LAC) and other stakeholders to ensure that accused persons have access to justice.
“Obviously we are not going to open the place for security reasons. I'm sure you are aware that recently, like a few weeks ago, there was an attempt to attack the facility. So obviously it's not going to be as open as they'd like, because we want to ensure that the safety of our judges, witnesses and interpreters is protected,” he added.
He said the number of defendants in the upcoming trial was huge and appreciable and he was not in a position to give the specific number as arrests continued to be made on a daily basis in the fight against terrorism.
“I don't want to be specific on that, because the number changes every time, as security agencies keep making arrests. I can't say for sure how many at this time. But it is quite a considerable number,” he said.
Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, on Wednesday announced the Defense Headquarters (DHQ) joint simulation exercise and review of Operation Whirl Punch underway.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that Operation Whirl Punch is a DHQ-led operation dealing with the threat of banditry and terrorism in the states of Kaduna and Niger.
Irabor said that professionalism continues to be the engine of the Armed Forces to address the security challenges that prevail in the country.
He said the simulation exercise was designed to reshape and review the operation in a bid to improve the operational effectiveness of the armed forces.
The CDS added that joint training was needed to deal with current issues and to reposition personnel to effectively address future threats to the nation.
According to him, professionalization is a process and every organization must continue to review its structure and environment in order to improve.
“For us in the military, a lot of mileage has been covered, but I will also point out that we still have a lot more to cover.
“Because we operate within a geographic environment that is within our geographic space, the issues in dispute go far beyond those that are within our space.
“They also involve those that are global in nature, some are made, others, of course, are natural.
“But as members of the military, we need to sift through these issues and properly contextualize them and prepare to plan for contingencies in order to remedy them.
“Anytime the military is called upon, there will be no reason to excuse failures.
“Currently, the military, as you know, is involved in various theaters across the country.
“Address issues of a more internal nature, which at some point have had to involve the resources and capabilities of the armed forces,” he said.
Irabor revealed that the military hoped to help other agencies increase their capacity to respond to internal security challenges.
This, according to him, is to allow the military to focus more on issues that were traditionally their responsibilities.
He said it was a long-term goal for the military to continue to escalate in the meantime, to provide sufficient respite for the security environment.
The Chief of Training and Defense Operations, Gen.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said the exercise was a follow-up to one of the key decisions reached during the defense withdrawal in Asaba.
Yekini said the main goal was to find ways to further enhance the union in military operations, working with other security agencies to overcome contemporary security challenges facing the country.
This, according to him, is in line with the leadership focus of the CDS, which is to foster a professional armed forces.
For this reason, Yekini said that there was no better way to promote professionalization than through joint training among the staff of the three services.
“This exercise is designed to enhance one of our key operations, Operation Whirl Punch, which is involved in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in Kaduna and Niger states.
“It is instructive to mention that the operation was recently reviewed to bring together the different civil service and police operations in the area under a unified command.
“This review was followed by Operation Forest Sanity, which has substantially degraded enemy forces in the two states, along general axes,” he said.
Yekini said that the participants were expected to express lessons and observations derived during the exercise.
He urged them to commit to the exercise and bridge the lapses already experienced by joint operations.
Source Credit: NAN
Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, says the Nigerian Armed Forces will maintain a state of alert and an aggressive posture in all ongoing operations across the country.
Irabor provided security at the closing of the 2022 Defense Attachés and Advisers Conference organized by the Intelligence Agency (DIA) on Friday in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the conference, which began on Monday, was themed "Sustaining Nigeria's Defense and Security: Role of the Defense Attaché System."
He also reiterated the military's commitment to work with other security agencies and constituted authorities to ensure the safety of lives and property of all citizens.
Irabor pledged to support the civil authorities to ensure a safe and secure environment for the 2023 general elections.
He urged the officers and men of the armed forces to bear in mind that democracy is essential for Nigeria if the nation is to aspire to further development and progress.
According to him, this, translated into the security environment, implies that their loyalty to the constituted authorities must be pure.
“Therefore, I urge you to respect the rule of law and remain loyal to the constituted authorities and avoid partisan politics and acts that are detrimental to the interest of the nation.
“As I speak to you, I would also like to take this opportunity to extend this directive to the rest of the armed forces, who must remain loyal to the constituted authorities and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"And let them also know that in the upcoming elections there are high expectations from Nigerians and also higher expectations from the rest of the world," Irabor said.
He assured that the Armed Forces will do their part as required, not only as it is provided, but also to the extent that the INEC wants them to provide support in that regard.
“I have always emphasized that we remain ready to provide support to the police, who are in fact the lead agency in providing security, so we are prepared to provide further support and continue to play our role in that regard.
“For operations in the various theaters, we will also maintain the state of alert and aggressive posture that we have continued to display to ensure that the lives of citizens and of course the property of all Nigerians are protected,” he said.
The CDS also urged defense attachés to use their positions in the various countries of assignment to correct the incorrect security narratives given to embassies in Nigeria.
He said that the conference generated very useful discussions and resolutions, as well as a review of the operational activities of the defense sector during the current year, with a view to projecting for 2023.
The CDS also expressed confidence that the attachés were better positioned to contribute more effectively to the efficient performance of its different sections around the world.
Irabor assured them that the government would do everything possible within available resources to improve the challenges faced by the defense sections, to enable them to carry out their assigned responsibilities and tasks with the minimum of obstacles.
However, he urged them to guarantee the prudent and judicious use of the resources assigned to them for the achievement of the established goals and objectives.
Previously, the Chief of Defense Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Samuel Adebayo said that the critical resolutions reached and captured in the conference communiqué will be sent to the appropriate places for implementation to enhance national security.
Adebayo said the outcome of the conference attested to the relevance of the Defense Advisors/Attachments system in advancing Nigeria's national defense and security objectives.
He promised that the agency would continue to leverage the defense attaché system in support of ongoing military engagements, especially in the contemporary security context.
According to him, the conference highlighted the need for synergy and collaboration between intelligence and security agencies, as well as ministries, departments and agencies, to ensure that no effort is spared in dealing with threats to Nigeria's corporate existence as a nation.
“Therefore, I believe this year's conference will be a milestone in our efforts to refocus on the challenges of redesigning the Defense Attaché system to advance our national security interests through effective collaboration.
“In this context, I believe that all of you have learned new and better ways to carry out the assigned tasks to improve our national security.
“Without sounding trite, it would be necessary for me to emphasize that you must strive to use your vantage points to make valuable contributions to the Federal Government's efforts to protect our beloved nation.
“This would go a long way toward justifying the enormous investment by the Federal Government in the operations of the Defense Sections,” he added.
The CDI thanked all the interested parties for their support for the successful realization of the conference.
He also thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, the Ministry of Defense, the Office of the National Security Advisor and the Defense and Services Headquarters for their assistance.
Edited /Buhari Bolaji
Source Credit: NAN