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Nyanya Bomb Blast – Another Wake Up Call

Philip Keshiro, DRI Nigeria

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I would have commented on the Malaysian Air Incident but for the fact that my mother died during this period and was buried on the 11th April 2014. The various activities relating to the burial were too much for me to sit and write.

The recent Nyanya bomb blast is another tragedy with no answer and most of the things I have been reading or commentaries on TV are not the solution.

What then is the solution?

It is unfortunate that when you want to hide a secret from people in our race, just put it in the book. This is with a lot of apology.

Issues of Security and Emergencies should be handled bottom up, not top down approach. A top down approach breeds passivity, lack of coordination, and makes mockery of our nation.

Please in your mind kindly compare what occur in Boston last year with what happened in Nyanya.

Nyanya

Boston

We are yet to identify those that drove the car and ran away as reported Within 24 hours the identity of the culprits were known and broadcasted – No sentiment
All agencies worked together without any statement such as ;we are on red alert etc We witnessed actions televised live.
No periodic update to members of the public – No concrete information yet There was periodic information, with the US President categorically saying, we will get ‘you’.
This may be the end of the investigation as the Kano case. The terrorists were caught with one dead and another injured within a week of the incident

What is the difference between security personnel abroad and ours?

–          They have data gathering capability (even on the spot)

–          Trained to focus first on issues of life (Human Life comes first)

–          Well trained to read and analyze situation

–          Aware of new technology or trends

Example:

The Nigerian DRAFT Pandemic Response Plan categorically states the following as shown below, breaking down how the nation should plan for pandemic related disasters, however, IT IS THE SAME PRINCIPLE FOR TERRORISM;

  • 1. National Government Planning & Coordination
    • Government is committed to multisectoral pandemic preparedness
    • Federal government assures continuity of essential services
    • Criteria:Essential service role and responsibilities identified
      Promotes Business Continuity Planning
      Provides basic planning assumptions
  • 2. All sub-national government levels involved
    • Whether States and FCT level have multisectoral preparedness and response plan and operationalised. Including Local Governments
  • 3. Whole of society planning ie Civil Society, INGO and IGOs, Private Sector, Vulnerable groups.
    • All the above must have Preparedness and response structures to protect vulnerable groups …
  • 4. Sectoral planning and Continuity of Essential Services
    • These are listed as:
      • Health – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Food – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Water & Sanitation ( Portable water sewage & waste management) – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Energy Sector – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Public Security and Order – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Finance – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Telecommunications – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
      • Transport – Whether sector has response and business continuity plan that has been tested
        • Criteria:
        • Key Sector actors (public & private) are identifies and have been encouraged to plan
        • Guidance for key actors in sector is available
        • Hazard & Risk analysis has been completed for the sector.

All ministries, agencies, and infrastructures i.e NYANYA Park and others should have a BCP plan in place.  

Why this write up.

The Pandemic plan was co-authored by the USAID and other US related agencies, if they can slot in BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING as the BASIS for managing disasters why are we not looking in this direction to solve our problems. A large number of our top and middle level government officials do not know anything about this subject matter.

A Business Continuity plan will have helped to mitigate this NYANYA Park disaster in the following ways;

A Risk assessment – will have brought out through imagination, foresight, and prior incidents that the park is vulnerable. Control measures to mitigate will be the following;

  • Separate Passenger drive in from the Bus Parks – Let the passengers walk with their load or with trolleys.
  • Have in place CCTV to capture movement of passengers and ongoing activities within.
  • Restructure the market to meet the 1st condition if possible.
  • etc

The effect is that, should there be an incident or a bomb blast, the POLICE, SSS and other agencies will have some form of intelligence to work with. Without this, we are laughing stock in the comity of advanced nations.

The steps within the BCP are:

The Ten Professional Practices are as follows:

Pre-Planning Stage

1. Program Initiation and Management

2. Risk Evaluation and Control

3. Business Impact Analysis

Planning Stage

4. Developing Business Continuity Strategies

5. Emergency Preparedness and Response

6. Developing and Implementing Business Continuity Plans

Post-Planning Stage

7. Awareness and Training Programs

8. Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance

9. Crisis Communications

10. Coordination with External Agencies

Conclusion:

The security agencies should start to have appetite and understand what business continuity planning is all about and how to use it to reduce to the barest minimum this incident of mass killing.

The words we hear such as ‘Citizens should go about their normal duty as the government or Police…’. These words are not inspiring, not soothing, they are reactive, not proactive. We should not be counting casualties in hundreds and thousands, not to talk of one life. The answer lies within the government archive and in possession of some of us reading this write-up.

Reacting after each blast is wickedness, mental laziness, a lack of ability to work, and lack of love for human lives.  

Please check the Nigerian Pandemic Response Plan.

I will explain more and break down the components of BCP if required.

You can ask for an extract of areas quoted above if interested.

Thank you.

Philip Keshiro

The Outage and The Impact

Waleed Hammad

Despite the extensive efforts that the Egyptian government made in the past years to develop and promote the adoption of technologies, the shutdown of communications services for a full day and the Internet for the first five days during the Egyptian revolution had a great economic impact on most services nationwide. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated at least $90 million USD in losses in the telecommunication sector alone during the five days of the internet shutdown. This amount refers to lost revenues due to blocked telecommunications and Internet services; averaging $18 million USD per day.

Egypt has other sectors that depend on Internet and communications, including tourism and banking. Although it is difficult to conclusively determine the losses in the tourism sector, the banking sector suffered huge losses. All online banking and e-commerce services went down, ATM machines were almost non-functioning, and credit card payment facilities at local stores and
markets were totally suspended.

The IT outsourcing firms in Egypt are a good litmus test of the state of business continuity management in the region. The IT outsourcing business line grossed $1 billion USD in revenues in 2010 (or around $3 million USD per working day). Most IT outsourcing companies were affected in two different ways: medium-sized call centers, mainly representing non-governmental and/or non-critical domestic services, went totally offline. Other critical operation call centers were fully operational, such as ambulance and fire service and
military services. What follows is a comparison between two different crisis response approaches of two big names in the IT outsourcing field, each with two different geographical locations.

Serving national vital operations, Company A decided to continue operating from its headquarters and main branch by keeping employees literally living onsite, with food and sleeping
facilities in place. As the company is located at Egypt’s prime Communication and Information Technology Cluster and Business Park, the area was totally secured and governed by the military forces during the days of the revolution.

As for Company B, a giant international company, the company headquarters was equipped with a backup satellite Internet connection to serve its international overseas customers during crisis. However, the company decided to shift its main operations to other branches in different countries. The business continuity plan stated that key employees should be ready to travel to other countries should the headquarters becomes inaccessible. The plan was updated to include the addition that key employees should be ready to travel to other countries at any moment if communication went down for a certain period of time.

In brief, the long-term impact of the Internet and communications shutdown on Egypt’s economy is hard to assess. However, this incident reminded business owners why proper business continuity
management is a crucial driver in this region for both international and local business entities. Additionally, it urged the Egyptian government to form a committee to prepare an Egyptian business continuity standard, which is considered to be a step forward in increasing the BCM awareness in Egypt and within the region.

 

References:
Egyptian Cabinet- Information and Decision Support Centre
OECD—Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

 

Waleed Hammad is the President of DRI MENA, he is also the Co-founder & Managing Director of PROXC Consulting (a leading business continuity management company in the Middle East). He has more than 12 years experience, delivering consultancy
and training to professionals in the Middle East in the areas of business continuity management, risk management, and project
management. He also is a member of the committee responsible of preparing the Egyptian BCM Standard.